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ACEC Ohio Legislative Update--May 26, 2017

House Bill 49 (GRF Budget Bill)  Rep. Smith

The bill is currently being heard in the Ohio Senate with the goal of a substitute bill being introduced in the Senate Finance Committee by June 14, 2017, and a vote of the full Senate by June 21, 2017 allowing just over a week for a conference committee to resolve differences.

ACEC Ohio continues to work with the Ohio Services Industry Coalition (a group of over 25 service industry organizations) to voice opposition to any sales tax on professional services. OSIC delivered a letter to the members of the Ohio Senate encouraging members to support the House decision to remove the sales tax on professional services.  See OSIC Letter 5.16.17

In addition, discussion is being held on the current $250,000 mark on which a small business does not pay any income tax, then paying 3% above that amount.  It seems the estimates at the time  have been off substantially in terms of what it is costing the state in revenues.  There is considerable speculation that the legislature may “tweak” this somehow, either lowering the exempt amount, or taxing the first $250,000 at a lower rate. As information becomes available we will keep you updated.

House Bill 121 (Piping Materials) Rep. Edwards

The bill requires a public authority to consider all piping materials that meet the engineering specifications for a state funded water or waste water project.  There is a companion bill in the Ohio Senate, SB 95, sponsored by Senator Tehar.  ACEC Ohio testified against the bill on May 9, 2017, see   ACEC Ohio Testimony on HB 121 We continue to try to remove the professional engineer from the middle of this bill, and participated in an interested party meeting this week.  There was no consensus among the interested parties during this meeting, with most of the opponents suggesting the bill is unnecessary.

Senate Bill 113 (Vehicle Registration Fee) Sen. Coley

The bill would increase vehicle registration fees and create a fuel tax cut that registrants would receive an identification card to swipe at the gas pump that would exempt them from the 28-cent-per-gallon Motor Fuel Tax. ACEC Ohio is an interested party to this bill and is advocating for a more comprehensive funding package addressing long term funding needs of the State. The bill has been referred to the Senate Ways and Means Committee, no hearings have been held.

Senate Bill 6 (Bridge Partnership Program) Sen. Hoagland

The bill extends the Ohio Bridge Partnership Program through the end of FY 2019 and requires the Director of ODOT to submit a report recommending ways to continue to fund the program.  The bill is pending in the Ohio House Transportation and Public Safety Commitee, no hearings have been held. ACEC Ohio is an interested party.

House Bill 75 (License by Endorsement) Rep. Gavarone and Rep. Merrin

The bill allows for a "License by Endorsement" for active duty military and their spouses for a 12-month period in Ohio, if they have a valid license from another state. The bill refers to all licensed professionals, except attorneys.  The bill has been pending in the Ohio House Armed Services, Veterans and Homeland Committee with no hearings since March. ACEC Ohio is an interested party.


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