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Week in Review: March 5, 2023

Written on Mar 5, 2023


Ohio Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Steve Stivers addressed the Cleveland City Club Friday, discussing items the organization supports through the state budget as well as the "Blueprint for Ohio's Economic Future" released in October 2022. Several items from the blueprint proposal were included in the DeWine administration budget proposal, Stivers said, and the chamber hopes to see more added during the process. Ohio Chamber Communications Coordinator Amanda Ehrmantraut told Hannah News those items from the blueprint that are in the budget include a low-income tax credit; funding for innovation hubs; funding and policies on K-12 computer science education; continued investment in the TechCred program and Ohio technical centers; homeownership savings accounts; more funding for broadband grants; increases in student aid; $2.5 billion for site development in the All Ohio Future Fund; and a U.S. Route 23 corridor study.

The JobsOhio Board of Directors held its first-quarter public meeting Thursday, though Chairman Bob Smith said they had met in a private session Wednesday that would produce publicly-known "outcomes." The public meeting opened with comments from Gov. Mike DeWine, who discussed attending the Tuesday groundbreaking of Honda and LG Energy Solution's EV battery plant in Fayette County.


Gov. Mike DeWine's administration announced Monday the approval of assistance for two projects expected to create 223 new jobs and retain 165 jobs statewide. During its monthly meeting, the Ohio Tax Credit Authority (TCA) reviewed economic development proposals brought by JobsOhio and its regional partners. The projects are expected to collectively result in more than $10.1 million in new payroll and spur more than $4.4 million in investments across Ohio.


Ohioans placed more than $1.1 billion in sports bets in January, according to the first sports gambling revenue report released by the Ohio Casino Control Commission. Sportsbooks paid out $883.7 million in winnings during the month, and $20.7 million in wagers were voided. Nearly $320 million in promotional credits were issued. January's taxable revenue for sportsbooks was $208.9 million.


There are more than 338,000 patients registered in the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program, the Ohio Board of Pharmacy (OBP) announced Monday. Specifically, there are 338,049 patients registered in the program. Of registered patients, 20,633 are military veterans, 21,738 are classified as "indigent" and 1,265 have a terminal diagnosis. Of the 338,049 patients, only 160,121 have both an active registration and an active recommendation from a doctor.


Deliberations began Tuesday in the House Ways and Means Committee with sponsor testimony on HB1 (Mathews), the wide-ranging tax reform proposal that cuts taxes and implements a flat income tax in the process, as well as "simplifies" the state's property taxes by decoupling them from income taxes by removing the 10% property tax rollback. Chief sponsor Rep. Adam Mathews (R-Lebanon) testified that he has four goals with the legislation:

- Lower the state's income tax to 2.75% for all taxpayers. He maintains that "a flat tax system encourages families and businesses to move to and stay in our great state. Many of our neighboring states have moved to a flat tax, and a rate of 2.75% would be the lowest from here to either Tennessee or South Dakota."

- Simplify the tax. He proposes doing this by disentangling "our property and income taxes by removing the 10% rollback and giving more local control over tax policy."

- Protect homeowners by adjusting the valuation coefficient from 35 percent of appraised value to 31.5% "with an inflation-neutralizing factor, thereby protecting homeowners as values fluctuate. ... We again keep our focus on those at the margins, bolstering our homestead protections for our seniors while also shifting our 2.5% reductions credit to a flat $125, benefiting smaller homes and those entering the market."

- Shield local communities from the cuts/shift in the property tax "as we transition to a simpler and more accountable model." Per questions, this entails using excess state dollars to shore up communities over the next one to two General Assemblies.


Ohio Treasurer Robert Sprague and Sen. Theresa Gavarone (R-Bowling Green) Wednesday announced legislation that will update and align Ohio law with the current operations of the Ohio Treasurer's office. SB74 includes the following changes:

- Repeals a 40-plus year-old section of the Ohio Revised Code that created a fund that was never utilized.

- Amends sections of the Ohio Revised Code addressing electronic tax payments to account for the existence of the Ohio Business Gateway.

- Updates sections of the Ohio Revised Code regarding investment terminology, debt management, and banking relationships "that have not been revised for decades," the release notes.

- Amends the Ohio Revised Code to achieve statutory consistency regarding matters of pledged collateral among state agencies.


The Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) saw a major changing of the guard Friday as the man credited with saving the agency from its 2006 investment debacle announced his formal retirement to BWC directors, who then voted to make Chief Investment Officer-designee Rob Palmeri official. The agency and its board have often cited BWC investment returns as a major reason for ongoing private and public employer rate cuts over the last decade. The bureau's fiscal health began to rebound several years ago with the hire of newly retired Bruce Dunn as chief investment officer (CIO), directors noted.

The BWC Board of Directors also put its imprimatur on the $90 million, 8% average rate cut for private employers proposed by its Actuarial Committee in January.

This feature was provided by Hannah New Service and selected for you by OSCPA Government Relations Staff.