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Message from Beth--January 17, 2017

2017 begins with new legislative priorities

Beth Easterday

Happy New Year!  The new year brings the beginning of session for the Ohio General Assembly and the introduction of both the General Revenue Fund (GRF) and the Transportation budget bills.  We fully expect the sales tax on professional services to be reintroduced as part of the Governor’s GRF budget bill on January 31, 2017.  In anticipation of this, ACEC Ohio will continue to partner with the Ohio Service Industry Coalition (OSIC).  This is a coalition of over 20 business/member associations and companies working against the expansion of state and local sales taxes to professional services, including engineering services. The Council is opposed to the concept of levying a sales tax on businesses that provide professional services to their clients.  Such taxation is regressive, inhibits competition and is inherently difficult and burdensome to administer.   We are in the process of putting a white paper together on this issue and will get it out to membership in anticipation of a “call to action” to elected officials.

In addition, ACEC Ohio has identified our Legislative initiatives for 2017. This is a fluid list as the legislature moves into full session with bills introduced daily.  Our priorities include:

  1. Pass Indemnification Legislation – Introduce legislation that would regulate the use of indemnity provisions in contracts related to public improvements.
  1. Develop QBS Legislation-- Research the potential of legislation to provide mandatory use of the QBS process on any project utilizing state funds.
  1. Support increase in Infrastructure Funding
  1. Defeat PVC pipe preference bill—Expected to be re-introduced in the 2017-18 Ohio General Assembly by Representative Thompson. Would prohibit public authorities from giving preference to one type of “suitable pipe material” over another in the construction of water and wastewater projects, “unless sound engineering practices suggest that one type of suitable piping material is more appropriate for a particular project.”
  1. Defeat Sales Tax of Professional Services—Expected to be introduced in the 2018-19 General Revenue Budget on January 31, 2017. An extension of the state sales tax to services would be devastating for the engineering industry.


Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or suggestions.



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