OSCPA staff report
The lame duck session is the period from mid-November to December when legislators return after the election, and although less intense than previous years there will still be activity on issues such as criminal justice reform, Covid recovery funds, municipal tax reform and more.
Senate President Matt Huffman's top priority is criminal justice reform, including making sure that people convicted of a crime aren't prevented from getting a job or professional license. OSCPA has already worked with bill sponsors to make sure finance-related crimes could be considered to disqualify candidates from becoming future CPAs.
There is still $10 billion dollars left to spend of the total $26 billion Ohio received in Covid recovery funds. So far, these one-time federal dollars were used to pay off Ohio's federal unemployment loan, water and sewer projects, law enforcement and Appalachian community grants, among others. It’s possible some of the funds will be used for water-quality projects, and the health-care sector has requested funding.
OSCPA has been working with other interested parties on easing the employer reporting burden for municipal net profits tax filings. This "safe harbor" would provide apportionment options to address how to deal with hybrid and remote workers spread around the state. Discussions on a preferred solution are still ongoing, so odds are increasing that efforts on this issue will continue into 2023.
For the new session starting in January, OSCPA will continue to seek opportunities to press for more ways to represent your interests and drive economic strength in our state. Chief among them will be protecting the BID that benefits many CPA firm owners and shareholders. This generous tax deduction is under attack by groups wanting to use the over $1 billion a year cost on their own priorities.
As always, OSCPA will be closely monitoring the state's biennial budget, which will include not only state agency budgets but also a number of policy changes. This massive bill will be introduced by the House in early February and must be through the House and Senate and signed into law by Gov. DeWine before July 1, 2023. In addition to state agency spending proposals, whether in the budget bill or separate legislation, we likely will see a continued focus on workforce creation and retention efforts to drive employment in our state, and regulatory reform proposals to ease the workforce crisis.
There has also been discussion in Ohio and across the nation in recent months on the 120/150 hour requirement, and what can be done with the additional 30 hours to help get more licensed CPAs in Ohio. OSCPA is looking into ways to address this issue, working with AICPA and NASBA on a national level. Possibilities might include internship models such as those being pursued by some of the national firms to help targeted employees finish the last 30 hours of college education while working.