As we close 2013, I’m happy to look back on the many accomplishments of the Ohio House of Representatives, which are getting the state back on track. We passed a sound fiscal budget for 2014 and 2015, increased funding for our schools and made significant strides in municipal tax reform. This is something in particular that is a great source of pride for me.
As chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, I had a very direct connection with the passage of House Bill 5, legislation that simplifies and streamlines that municipal tax codes in our cities. Due to confusing and unclear tax policy, our state is at a disadvantage when it comes to job creation and economic development. Now, with the changes that have been implemented, we can promise businesses a brighter future.
House Bill 5 is currently making its way through the Senate and I’m hopeful it will be ready to be signed into law sometime in the near future. In the House, we have certainly done extensive research on the topic and we have talked to many of Ohio’s business leaders. In fact, we held over 200 hours of meetings and oversaw 12 hearings in our committee.
Specifically speaking, House Bill 5 consolidates tax returns to improve Ohio’s competitiveness while reducing the cost of compliance and administration. It also establishes uniform due dates for all municipal tax returns and uniform withholding requirements for all employers.
These improvements are just a few among the many. The bottom line is that our state has a very flawed municipal income tax system. For example, in Ohio alone, there are over 600 different municipalities, utilizing more than 300 different tax forms. This sort of confusion only weighs businesses down. They want to focus on growth, profit and making a difference in the economy.
I’m fully supportive of the plan that we have laid out. It took a lot of hard work, collaboration and research, but the end product is going to make a huge difference for our state.
State Representative Peter Beck (R-Mason) has set up an online legislative survey in an effort to gain feedback from the residents of the 54th Ohio House District regarding a variety of state issues. The survey can be accessed at: http://tinyurl.com/BeckConstituentSurvey