OSCPA staff report
Ohio Tax Commissioner Joe Testa and Deputy Commissioner Marjorie Kruse, CPA paid a visit to OSCPA’s Columbus office this week to get the CPA profession’s input on Ohio’s tax climate.
Testa said he is asking for meetings with OSCPA and other groups to “see if we can put together a plan that has the business and industry support that we can take to” Gov. John Kasich as he puts together a proposal for the state’s fiscal years 2017-18 biennial budget.
Barbara Benton, OSCPA’s vice president, governmental affairs, said the group’s overall message centered on the need for uniformity and simplicity in the tax code.
“We appreciate Commissioner Testa and Deputy Commissioner Kruse reaching out to us and taking the time to get our members’ thoughts,” Benton said. “We’re in the fortunate position of having state officials who understand the key role CPAs play in advancing the state of business in Ohio.”
A focal point of the hour-long discussion was the Ohio Tax Reform Task Force white paper, issued this past June. Several members of the task force attended, and talked through the group’s rationale. Among the topics members discussed were:
Commercial Activity Tax (CAT) – OSCPA recommends keeping the CAT rate low, the base broad and limiting any exemptions unless a valid public policy reason dictates one.
Municipal Income Tax – Ohio CPAs recommend centralizing municipal tax collection and administration through a small number of regional council of governments or the state’s Ohio Business Gateway, eliminating municipal throwback rules and addressing the growing problem of double taxation on Ohio citizens who pay local income taxes both where they live and work. It was noted that Ohio businesses complain more about this form of taxation than even the federal tax system.
Sales & Use Tax – Limit sales tax exemptions for niche industries, only applying them broadly where the practice can drive economic development, such as the manufacturing exemption. In addition, OSCPA is opposed to expanding sales taxes on professional services, citing harm to our state’s competitiveness and driving up the cost of doing business.
Matt Yuskewich, CPA, chair of the Ohio Tax Reform Task Force, said in addition to recommendations, the white paper identifies things the state should keep doing.
“We mention a number of things in the report that Ohio is doing well,” Yuskewich said. “There are some other things where it could do better.”
Read the full white paper online now.