Retailers listen up: Gov. Strickland's proposed budget includes a proposal to increase the allowance for collecting and remitting the sales tax to 1 percent.
However, the maximum a vendor could earn would be capped at $30 per reporting period. By enacting caps on the retail business it ends up being another unfunded government mandate. In a study done in 2006, it was determined that the average cost of sales tax compliance for retailers in 2003 was 3.09 percent.
Here we are four years later and while everything has increased, our businesses are supposed to shoulder the burden of collecting sales taxes for the state for $30 per quarter. Of course, the state government will continue to take their 1 percent cut of all piggyback taxes for administrative purposes.
Retailers need to contact our state elected officials and voice your opposition to the cap. Call Sue Morano at (614) 644-7613 and Matt Barrett at (614) 466-9628 and do it now as there is less than a week left to work on this.
More business friendly news came last week when Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann sued companies in the paint industry for products they legally produced decades ago. AG Dann's use of the public nuisance law is a damaging application and will only serve to hurt the entire state when prospective companies compare possible locations or Ohio companies consider the benefits of staying here versus relocation.
Several AG's in other states have been attempting to use the public nuisance law for this type of application and our courts need to move swiftly to put a stop to this practice.
The use of this law would have been avoided except it is the bill the governor recalled immediately after he took office and vetoed even though it had already been sent to the secretary of state.
Oral arguments for this act are set to go to the Ohio Supreme Court in May. We can only hope the justices will rule against this act and the obvious intent to circumvent products liability laws.
In other interesting state government items, it turns out the Bureau of Workers' Compensation is using UBS Investment Bank, a Swiss company, as its agent for handling some or all of its potential sales of private equity funds.
One call confirmed there are U.S. companies that offer the same services as UBS. Every Ohio-based company that pays into Workers' Comp needs to contact the Bureau's new CEO, Marsha Ryan, and ask her to use an Ohio based or at least a US-based company for all future BWC business.
Log ontowww.ohiobwc.com and send her an e-mail.
On the local front, remember Tax Day Business After Hours will be held from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at ACC on Milan Avenue. All chamber businesses and your employees are invited to attend.
There will be door prizes, hors d'oeuvres, wine tasting by Mid-Ohio Wines and lots of opportunities to meet your fellow chamber members. We really need our long-time members to turn out to welcome the new members.
The best way to get the most benefit from your membership is to be active.
We'll hope to see all of you tomorrow at ACC.
Melissa James is executive director of the Norwalk-Area Chamber of Commerce. She can be reached at the chamber office, 10 W. Main St., Norwalk, or by calling (419) 668-4155.