Tax expert speaks at chamber’s progress awards

A tax expert with the Ohio Chamber of Commerce addressed the benefits of House Bill 5  Thursday at the Wapakoneta Area Chamber of Commerce Progress Awards held at the Eagles Post.

Dan Navin said the proposed legislation would bring much needed change to Ohio’s complicated municipal income tax system.

“Ohio is one of only 10 states that has assessment of local income tax on individuals,” Navin said. “It is the only state that permits municipalities to create their own definitions, rules and regulations for municipal taxes.

As a result, Ohio has approximately 600 of its communities that currently collect a local tax. Only Pennsylvainia, with nearly 2,000 municipalities, has more. As a result, the process of filing yearly income taxes can become burdensome for some, particularly many businesses, Navin said.

“A lot of times, the cost of filing the return will end up costing more than the taxes owed,” Navin said. “Teaching employees working in different cities can be inefficient and costly. The expense of record keeping alone can be very expensive in itself.”

As a result, Navin said the current structure can hurt Ohio business.

“It hurts Ohio’s economic competitiveness,” Navin said. “It ultimately leads to being a determent for new business coming to Ohio. It is a determent of resources that could be used investing in business, helping lead to jobs.”

Navin said a similar law change was proposed last year, but it did not get completed in time and met some opposition from Ohio municipalities, as they feared it would result in more lost revenue. Navin said the new proposal has taken many of the concerns of municipalities into consideration.

Key provisions in the new law, Navin said, included the elimination of throwback provisions, in which cities can tax businesses on sales not made in that municipality.

Navin pointed out that the new legislation would not result in businesses paying less tax, but it would reduce compliance costs.

“This frees up capital and time to reinvest and grow their companies,” Navin said.

He said the new legislation would make Ohio’s new tax system, more predictable and simpler. Ultimately he said that would make the state competitive for new jobs.

Eight local businesses were awarded with progress awards, including Auglaize Embroidery, Brumbaugh & Clark Law LLC, ClouStudio, Harrod Insurance Services, Steinke Family Chiropractic, the United Way of Auglaize County and Wapakoneta Manor.

Auglaize Embroidery expanded its building an additional 1380 square foot and increased its full time employment from two to five. A n automatic silk screen machine was also purchased, resulting in a higher rate of production.

Brumbaugh and Clark added a full-time legal partner, hired a full-time office manager and four more full-time employees. Technology was upgraded and clientele doubled over the past year.

ClouStudio opened as a home-based business and moved into its newly renovated studio in September. The company invested more than $40,000 in equipment. The company doubled its wedding photography dates in 2012 and bookings for 2013 and 2014 already have eclipsed the 2012 level.

Harrod Insurance recently purchased and remodeled the office building behind Fifth Third Bank on Bellefontaine Street. Four additional staff members were added.

Steinke Chiropractic opened in June of 2012 and has since added two additional employees. Their patient base has grown to more than 400 and they have averaged 380 patient visits per week.

United Way eclipsed its fundraising goal for the first time since 1998. Executive Director Randy Fisher said the organization as able to serve more than 25,000 individuals through its 25 member agencies.

Wapakoneta Manor expanded its rehab and dementia/memory support units. Total expenditures for renovations exceeded $500,000.