Complexity might be a ‘tell’ in OSCPA endorsement process

Posted on Monday, May 14, 2018 by Gary Hunt

I heard a phrase this past week that reminded me of OSCPA’s ongoing efforts for simplicity in state taxation: “Complexity is a subsidy.” It’s the idea that regulation and red tape create barriers that harm those with less money or fewer resources. One good example is small businesses, which spend a greater proportion of their operating capital complying with various laws and regulations.

A longstanding guiding principle to OSCPA’s advocacy efforts has been the effort to push back against complexity. That’s been most evident in recent years in our fight for sensible municipal income tax reform.

Our members are sometimes asked, “Why wouldn’t you want Ohio’s tax system to be more complex? It creates more work for CPAs.”

That might be true on the surface, but in the case of local municipal income tax filing the work created is unnecessary. In many cases it results in compliance costs for businesses that exceed their tax liabilities. For CPAs, that’s like having to spend their days digging and refilling holes. Ohioans benefit when the trusted business experts can lay down their shovels and put their minds to work on advancing their organizations.

Business owners get it, which is why they testified about the need for reform, and why 33 organizations representing more than 365,000 businesses and professionals joined OSCPA in the Municipal Tax Reform Coalition to pass HB 5 in 2014

More recently, last week’s election results weren’t in before we fielded the first question about our fall endorsements. That process will begin soon, and you can look forward to reading the results in September in OSCPA’s fall endorsement guide. OSCPA member volunteers will carefully screen some very intriguing races through the lens of your professional interests.

None of us yet know who OSCPA will endorse in the November election. But if you are interested in reading tealeaves, you might find clues in this question: Which candidates are more likely to reduce complexity in government policy?


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