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Final Push to Extend Pro-Growth Tax Provisions

(December 3, 2015) As we approach the last few weeks of the year, Congress is also wrapping up business before the holidays. With the current deadline for the federal government funding bill on December 11th, we expect Congress to consider a number of different measures, including expired tax provisions – referred to as tax extenders. These extenders include Bonus Depreciation, Section 179 Expensing, Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC), New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC), and others. These important pro-growth tax provisions expired at the end of 2014. We are asking members to encourage your House member to retroactively reinstate these tax extenders for 2015 and to extend them into 2016 give businesses much need certainty. Courtesy of NGA, contact your Representative today and urge them to support these pro-growth tax policies!

Corrective Bill for Small Business Income Tax Deduction Moves Forward

(October 22, 2015) On Wednesday, the Senate quickly moved legislation out of committee and then later in the day out of the full chamber that makes corrective changes to the budget language that lowered small business income taxes. The bill, in its original purpose, would prevent certain small business taxpayers from incurring unanticipated tax hikes due to the budget language that was passed.

What started out as only a corrective measure, SB 208 has become a “Christmas tree” of sorts in that multiple other tax measure were added before moving out of the Senate. Action was taken to partially restore tangible personal property tax reimbursements to schools that lost out on money because of the Governor’s line-item veto on the budget bill. Another amendment added in committee further expanded a commercial activity tax (CAT) exemption for personal care products sold within integrated supply chain.

OGA has concerns with this language as it gives certain industries advantages over industries as well as the impact of continued CAT exemptions have on the overall rate. Concerns have been raised in the House over this language, as they continue to hold hearings on their companion piece of legislation, HB 326. We plan on submitting a letter to House leadership, outlining our concerns with this approach and the impact it will have on the overall CAT rate.


Sales Tax Holiday Approaching: Be Prepared!

(June 25, 2015) At the end of last year’s General Assembly, the Legislature passed a measure establishing a three-day sales tax holiday for this coming August during which clothing, school supplies and instructional material are exempt from state and county sales and use taxes. Specifically the holiday starts on Friday, August 7, 2015 at 12:01am and ends on Sunday, August 9, 2015 at 11:59 p.m. Make sure you and your store are ready! Check out the Department of Taxation’s FAQ on the Holiday and the linguistics on how it will work found here.


OGA Testifies Before Senate Ways & Means

(May 21, 2015) As the Ohio Budget, HB 64 continues to make its way through the Senate, OGA once again provided testimony yesterday, primarily on the as introduced version of the bill, which contained various devastating tax increases to Ohio’s food industry. In front of the Senate Ways & Means Committee, OGA President/CEO Nate Filler outlined our opposition to the Governor’s proposed 23% increase to the CAT and increases to tobacco taxes. Joining Nate in providing testimony on how these tax increases would have a negative impact on our high-volume, low-profit businesses was OGA Chairman Ron Graff Jr. A copy of OGA’s full testimony can be found here. Testimony is expected to shift to full Senate Finance Committee over the next few weeks where they will tackle all of the Budget proposals, before voting out their version of the bill in mid-June. We need to continue to remind Senators that adverse affect these tax proposals have on our businesses. Stay tuned for a new grassroots push we will be launching over the new few days designed at contacting your Senators.

US House Passed Death Tax Repeal

(April 23, 2015) Congress took a big step forward in the effort to repeal the federal estate tax, aka the Death Tax. Last Thursday, the House passed H.R. passed H.R. 1105, the Death Tax Repeal Act of 2015, by a bi-partisan vote of 240-179. The legislation would completely repeal the estate tax while making permanent both the 35% gift tax rate and the lifetime gift tax exemption. We thank the National Grocers Association (NGA) for their advocacy efforts in getting this legislation passed. Action now shifts to the Senate, where a companion bill, S. 860, has been introduced by Senator John Thune (R-SD).

House Republicans Unveil Their Budget Proposal-CAT and Sales Tax Hikes REMOVED!

(April 16, 2015)  Late this week, the House Republicans unveiled a substitute version of HB 64 (the budget bill). OGA is pleased to report that our advocacy efforts have impacted the process with the removal of the proposed 23% increase to the CAT tax, sales tax hike and expansion. We applaud the Speaker and his leadership team for understanding the devastating impact these taxes can have on our member operations. OGA also would like to thank those members who joined us in testifying and using our grassroots center to express your concerns on these provisions. Rather than the proposed tax shifting plan, the House Republican plan would instead provide for $1.2 billion income tax cuts using projected growth in tax revenue to offset the expense.

Further, the new proposal would include a 6.3% across-the-board reduction in rates, bringing the top income tax rate below 5%. The new plan also makes permanent a 75% small business tax cut for the first $250,000 of income.

OGA is also pleased that Substitute Bill removes the tobacco tax increases as well as the new taxation on e-cigarettes. However, OGA remains concerned over new language that would permit certain counties including Franklin, Summit, Montgomery and Hamilton county (based on their population) to levy additional cigarette taxes for the arts similar to existing law for Cuyahoga County. Please also keep in mind that this is just the next step in a lengthy budget process. The bill is expected to be voted out of committee later next week with a likely vote by the full House on April 22. The budget will then be sent to the Senate for their consideration. Please plan on attending the OGA Statehouse Day on April 28 and contact OGA President Kristin Mullins for more ways to get involved in the process.


OGA Testifies in Opposition to CAT and Tobacco Tax Increases

(February 26, 2015)  Yesterday, the Ohio Grocers Association provided testimony in House Ways & Means Committee in opposition to the 23% proposed increase in the Commercial Activities Tax (CAT) and increases to tobacco taxes contained in the Governor’s Budget. Joining Nate Filler, President & CEO of OGA, in providing testimony were Dan Saltzman from Dave’s Supermarkets and Ron Graff Jr., from Columbiana Foods. Before the Committee, testimony was provided that detailed the devastating impact these tax increases would have on our high-volume, low-profit businesses and ultimately the adverse affect such proposals have on our operations and all Ohioans. A special thanks to Dan and Ron for attending and providing impactful testimony. A copy of OGA’s full testimony can be found here: HB 64 testimony FEB 2015.

Final Push for Senate to Act on Tax Extenders

(December 4, 2014)  With only two weeks to go before Congress plans to adjourn for the year, we encourage members to contact Senator’s Brown and Portman and urge them to take action now and pass tax extender legislation. After a proposed compromise between the House and Senate, which suggested an extension of the tax provisions for two years, fell apart over the Thanksgiving holiday recess due to a White House veto threat, the House took action late yesterday to extend a host of expired tax provisions. By a vote of 378-46, the House agreed to extend expired tax extenders such as higher section 179 expensing, New Markets Tax Credit, Work Opportunity Tax Credit, Bonus Depreciation, and many others, retroactive for 2014. Follow this NGA action alert to urge the Senate to pass this legislation before they adjourn!

Action Alert: Urge Congress to Act on Extending Pro-Growth Tax Extenders

(November 13, 2014)  Congress reconvened this week after the election break to begin their last few months of business before the end of the year. To date, Congress has not reached an agreement on several critical tax extenders which expired at the end of 2013. Please contact your members of Congress and urge them to pass this legislation before the end of the year! Courtesy of NGA you take action by clicking here.

Call to Action: Urge Senate Lawmakers to Pass Pro-Growth Tax Extenders

(September 44, 2014) OGA is requesting that members contact Senator Brown and Portman and urge them to extend many pro-growth tax provisions. The Senate adjourned for the August recess without taking action on a tax extender package. As you may recall, the House passed several permanent pro-growth tax extensions earlier this summer on provisions such as Section 179 Expensing, Bonus Depreciation, and others. The Senate is expected to be back in session soon after the August recess and we are asking members to contact their Senators urging them to bring a bill to the Floor.

Action Alert: Urge US Senate to Vote on Tax Extenders

(July 31, 2014) OGA urges members to contact Senator’s Portman and Brown and urge the Senate to take action on passing critical tax extender legislation before they adjourn for the August recess. The Senate has been working on a two-year tax extenders package, but the legislation has stalled. Although the House recently passed various tax extender legislation, such as a permanent extension of Section 279 expensing and bonus depreciation, the Senate has yet to act. Our Senators need to hear from grocers on how vital these tax extenders are. Through NGA, you can contact Senator’s Portman and Brown and make your voice heard.

US House Passes Bill to Permanently Extend Bonus Depreciation Tax Credit

(July 17, 2014)  The US House of Representatives passed legislation last week that modifies and makes permanent bonus depreciation. The bill, H.R. 4718, introduced by Ohio’s own Congressman Pat Tiberi, passed with bipartisan support by a vote of 258-160. If enacted, the bill would permanently extend 50 percent bonus depreciation, enabling businesses to deduct half the cost of new equipment purchases as well as allow improvement made to retail property to qualify for this deduction. OGA applauds NGA and FMI for their tireless efforts in working with House members on passage and we thank members who may have reached out to their respective Representatives as well.

Ohio CAT and Tobacco Tax Update

(April 17, 2014)  Portions of the Governor’s Mid-Biennium Review (MBR) package passed the Ohio House last week. These provisions will now head to the Ohio Senate for consideration and include technical changes in the areas of workers compensation, workforce development and education. Specific to our members, the Workers Comp legislation included a switch to the new “prospective payment” system, where premiums will be paid once a year and in advance based on estimated payroll.  Upon year’s end, estimates will be aligned with actual payrolls which may lead to either a credit or an additional premium charge. OGA and their endorsed Workers Comp partner (Careworks) have been keeping updated on this issue, please contact OGA EVP/COO, Kristin Mullins for more information.

OGA is also pleased to report that the tax provisions related to the CAT and tobacco were NOT included in the package that was sent to the Senate.  This is a temporary victory for OGA as we will continue our efforts on these matters, Ohio House leadership has publicly acknowledged fading support for these tax increases within the Republican caucus but they are still under consideration. It will be critical for OGA members to engage on these matters in order to prevent these costly tax increases. Please contact Kristin Mullins if you would like to have us schedule a tour with a legislator this Spring or Summer. We will also send out future details for other ways to engage your state legislators.

Tax Extenders Legislation Under Consideration

(April 17, 2014)  Late last week, the Senate Finance Committee approved a tax extenders package which contained several key provisions for grocers including Section 179 expensing, New Market Tax Credits, Work Opportunity Tax Credits and Bonus Depreciation. This legislation has these extenders retroactive to January 1 and will not expire till the end of 2015. It is expected that the full Senate may take up this legislation after the Easter Break. The future of this legislation is unclear if and when it moves to the House. Please contact Congress here and urge them to take action and support the tax extender package.

OGA President/CEO Nate Filler Submits Testimony on Proposed CAT and Tobacco Tax Increases

(March 27, 2014)  Yesterday, OGA President & CEO Nate Filler delivered testimony against the proposed CAT and Tobacco tax increases found in the Governor’s proposed MBR, HB 472 in House Ways & Means Committee. Please also see the attached media article for a summary of committee testimony.

Action Alert: Oppose Ohio Tax Increases

(March 12, 2014)  On Tuesday, the Governor released the details of his latest mid-cycle budget measure (MBR), and as anticipated, there were extensive areas of tax reform. The plan seeks to lower the state’s top personal income tax bracket below 5% but would be paid for with a mix of tax hikes on businesses, smokers, and oil and gas companies. Most concerning to retailers is the increase from 0.26% to 0.30% in the Commercial Activity Tax (CAT) and a 60-cent per-pack hike in cigarette taxes. In addition, the Governor’s proposal calls for an increase to 49 percent on other tobacco products, including e-cigarettes.

These proposed tax increases will cut into our industry’s already razor thin profit margin, making it increasingly difficult to do business in Ohio. Furthermore, it will place retailers and Ohio at a competitive disadvantage with our surrounding states. OGA needs your input! As we begin to fight these tax increases and meet with legislators, we need your help in providing them with real, tangible numbers on how these increases will hurt your businesses.

We are asking you to provide us with what you pay now on CAT and what you would pay with a 0.04% increase in the rate. We will then be able to accurately portray the devastating costs this will have on our membership. Please email Kristin Mullins or call her at 614-448-1622 with these numbers and if you are interested in potentially submitting future testimony. Moving forward, we will provide instructions on how to reach out to contact state lawmakers.

Lastly, we have attached a recent press release and article, both of which Nate Filler, Former OGA President/CEO, is quoted in regarding these tax increases and talking points/handouts that we have been distributing to Legislators on the CAT and tobacco tax increase.