Member, Tim Opsitnick, Appointed to CyberOhio Advisory Board

Last year, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced the launch of CyberOhio – a collection of cybersecurity initiatives aimed at helping Ohio’s businesses fight back against cyber-attacks.

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    COSE/GCP member, Tim Opsitnick, officially joined CyberOhio’s Advisory Board this week, a group composed of state industry experts and business leaders. The expert panel will provide guidance for Attorney General’s Office initiatives on cybersecurity.

    Mr. Opsitnick founded JURINNOV in 2000 and is at the forefront of practitioners addressing issues involved in the security and discovery of electronically stored information. The practice focuses on cybersecurity, data privacy, electronic discovery, and computer forensics.

    “I’m honored to be appointed to such a crucial initiative,” said Opsitnick. “Fighting back against this very real, constantly changing threat is critical and I’d like to thank Attorney General DeWine for allowing me to share my experience to help foster a stronger business environment here in Ohio.”

    CyberOhio’s mission is to provide the best legal, technical, and collaborative cybersecurity environment possible to help Ohio’s businesses thrive.

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    Next up: Michael Stanek appointed as the employer representative on medical marijuana advisory committee

    Michael Stanek appointed as the employer representative on medical marijuana advisory committee

    Governor John Kasich appointed Michael Stanek, vice president/CFO of Hunt Imaging in Berea and owner of Cleveland Cycle Tours, to a new panel that is being formed, the Ohio Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee.  The role of the assignment is to represent employers’ views as regulatory proceedings on medical marijuana take place in Ohio.  Stanek also serves as a GCP board member and as COSE board chair.

    Governor John Kasich appointed Michael Stanek, vice president/CFO of Hunt Imaging in Berea and owner of Cleveland Cycle Tours, to a new panel that is being formed, the Ohio Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee.  The role of the assignment is to represent employers’ views as regulatory proceedings on medical marijuana take place in Ohio.  Stanek also serves as a GCP board member and as COSE board chair.

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    Several months ago, Ohio elected officials pre-empted a campaign to place the legalization of medicinal marijuana on the ballot by approving legislation.  The legalization effort that was working to put their separate initiative – which was broader in scope – on the ballot discontinued operations.  The state legislation that passed technically made medical marijuana legal in Ohio on September 8, 2016.  However, the regulatory process that will set many of the rules still needs to be completed within two years; and, the Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee may develop and submit recommendations to agencies related to the Medical Marijuana Control Program

    “I’m appreciative of the Governor’s trust in making this appointment,” said Stanek.  “Given the magnitude of the potential implications for business owners, their employees, and all Ohioans, I’m honored to serve employers in this role; I understand the importance and do not take this duty lightly.”

    GCP/COSE did not take a formal position on the medical marijuana legislation that is now Ohio law.  Our members instead sought to enhance employer rights and GCP/COSE worked to secure protections included in the legislation.  Those protections, for example, state employers can still establish and enforce drug testing, drug-free workplace, and zero-tolerance drug policies.

    In addition to this sole employer role, Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee membership will include members who represent:  pharmacists, physicians, local law enforcement. labor, mental health treatment; nurses, caregivers, patients, agriculture; the treatment of alcohol and drug addiction, and academic research.

    How should your business prepare for medical marijuana in Ohio?  Read more here.

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    Next up: Mobile Technology: Trends and Business Opportunities

    Mobile Technology: Trends and Business Opportunities

    Mobile devices have changed the world in the last few years. Hardware like smart phones and tablets continue to show growing sales and applications for various platforms are exploding too. Hundreds of thousands of apps are on the market and more markets are opening aside from iTunes and Android. Enterprise adoption of these platforms continues to grow as well, along with related enterprise apps. 

    Mobile devices have changed the world in the last few years. Hardware like smart phones and tablets continue to show growing sales and applications for various platforms are exploding too. Hundreds of thousands of apps are on the market and more markets are opening aside from iTunes and Android. Enterprise adoption of these platforms continues to grow as well, along with related enterprise apps. 

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    But where is this market heading? What are current trends and where do they lead? And most importantly, how can your company capitalize? 

    Listen now.


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    Next up: More on Small Business Tax Reforms in the State Budget

    More on Small Business Tax Reforms in the State Budget

    Small business owners may have been surprised to read an article in The Plain Dealer Tuesday morning titled “Many small businesses face one-year tax increase under Ohio budget bill”. While we believe the PD piece is factually correct, what may have been easy to miss is that the increase seems to be the result of a drafting error and it does not appear to be the intent of the legislature to raise taxes.  

    More on small business tax reforms in the state budget

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    Small business owners may have been surprised to read an article in The Plain Dealer Tuesday morning titled “Many small businesses face one-year tax increase under Ohio budget bill”. While we believe the PD piece is factually correct, what may have been easy to miss is that the increase seems to be the result of a drafting error and it does not appear to be the intent of the legislature to raise taxes. 

    The state budget that was signed by Governor Kasich on the evening of June 30th called for a flat 3% tax rate on business income above $250,000 – beginning in 2016. The problem is that for 2015, while there is a 75% business income deduction, the budget language applied a 3% flat tax to the remaining taxable income. Therefore, the 3% rate is currently in effect for all taxable business income not exempted.

    We believe this was an oversight in the drafting process of an almost 3,000 page state budget document. We do not believe the legislature or the Governor intended to raise taxes on small businesses this year. And, we are already expressing concern with leadership – on behalf of those that could be impacted – should the legislature choose not to address what many simply believe to have been an error. 

    The good news is that the legislature and Governor have through the end of the year to fix any errors because they can apply changes retroactively.

    Tax code is complicated. COSE acknowledges that “anomalies” can take place when changes are made. We urge the Ohio General Assembly and Governor Kasich to approve language that clarifies this issue so that small business owners don’t face an unexpected tax bill before they’re fully and permanently exempt from paying business income on their first $250,000 in 2016.


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    Next up: Most Anticipated Northeast Ohio Projects

    Most Anticipated Northeast Ohio Projects

    In light of all of the development happening in Northeast Ohio, Mind Your Business recently sat down with several COSE members and asked them to discuss what projects they have on their own personal wish lists and what development gaps might still exist.

    In light of all of the development happening in Northeast Ohio, Mind Your Business recently sat down with several COSE members and asked them to discuss what projects they have on their own personal wish lists and what development gaps might still exist.

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    As part of this discussion, we also asked our expert panel to list what their most anticipated projects are that are actually in the pipeline for the region. Their answers are below.

    Lakefront Development Project 

    Cost: $280 million

    Scope: Vibrant mixed-use neighborhood

    Includes: Apartments, office and retail space, parks and water access space

    University Circle City Center District Project

    Cost: $280 million

    Scope: Mixed-use neighborhood project

    Includes: Residential and housing units, street-level retail space, loft office space, and garage parking

    Opportunity Corridor 

    Cost: $331 million

    Scope: Three-mile boulevard connecting University Circle to East 55th Street, creating a 21st-century employment zone

    Includes: Mobility enhancements, economic resurgence, community re-investment

     

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    Next up: Municipal Income Tax Webcast: What you need to know about state law changes

    Municipal Income Tax Webcast: What you need to know about state law changes

    As teams begin to hit the field in preparation for the upcoming football season, we want to ensure you are also gearing up for the game-changing effective date of House Bill 5's municipal income tax laws. Municipalities are currently amending their existing income tax ordinances to incorporate the new law’s provisions, and your business should be prepping now too in order to be ready by the end of the year. To take a deeper dive into the new law and help you plan now for changes that will impact you, your business or your clients, please join us as former Ohio Tax Commissioner Tom Zaino hosts a webcast on September 28th at 9:30 a.m.  Register here today!

    As teams begin to hit the field in preparation for the upcoming football season, we want to ensure you are also gearing up for the game-changing effective date of House Bill 5's municipal income tax laws. Municipalities are currently amending their existing income tax ordinances to incorporate the new law’s provisions, and your business should be prepping now too in order to be ready by the end of the year.

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    To take a deeper dive into the new law and help you plan now for changes that will impact you, your business or your clients, please join us as former Ohio Tax Commissioner Tom Zaino hosts a webcast on September 28th at 9:30 a.m.  Register here today!

    In the meantime, summarized below are just some of the benefits coming your way starting in 2016:

    Pass-through entities

    If your business is organized as a pass-through entity (“PTE”), the municipal net profits tax will now be imposed at the entity level (unless your municipality is one of a handful that previously voted to tax resident S corporation owners at the shareholder level), with the owner needing to file only in their city of residence. Also, gains and losses that are generated by resident taxpayers’ different pass-through entities and their own net profit may offset each other during the year in which such gains and losses were generated to arrive at the total amount of tax due. 

    NOL carryforward

    If your business does not have a profitable year, some relief is coming: starting in 2017 all municipalities must allow businesses to deduct any new net operating losses (NOL) and allow a five-year carryforward of those losses. Profits and losses are measured on a 12-month basis simply as an accounting tool used to facilitate the collection of tax revenues. However, businesses are established with the goal of making a profit over the long haul, not simply in any particular 12-month period. When you have a loss, an NOL carryforward is treated as an asset on your balance sheet to help offset future gains. Therefore, the NOL carryforward becomes an economic development tool by allowing businesses to deduct losses and continue to operate, helping you with job retention in down years.

    Occasional entry rule

    A significant improvement to the “casual entrant” exemption increases the number of days (from 12 to 20 per year) that individuals may work in a non-principal place of business municipality before incurring income tax liability there. Should your employee be there 21 or more days, you will need to withhold in that “other” city from day 21 forward until the end of the calendar year. The new law also defines a day to allocate tax liability to the city where an employee spent the majority of time working that day (you must withhold only to one municipality per calendar day), and provides that the casual entrant rule applies to all compensation. Businesses and cities may continue to work out other agreements as well if both parties agree.

    Another major change eliminates the requirement for employers with gross receipts of less than $500,000 a year to track where their employees are working; instead, these small businesses will simply withhold to the jurisdiction where the principle place of business is located. These businesses must still file net profits returns in every city where they do business, but will owe no tax if the amount due is $10 or under.

    Other common sense changes

    If you’ve done work in a municipality in the past but no longer work there, many cities require you to continue filing tax returns anyway for up to three years. The new law allows you to certify to a municipal tax administrator that you are no longer a taxpayer there. Upon certifying, you are no longer required to file with that municipality during future taxable years, unless the tax administrator possesses conflicting information or you start working there again.

    Taxpayer Bill of Rights

    The new law includes the full version of the state’s Taxpayer Bill of Rights at the local level, and requires municipalities to publish a summary of the taxpayers’ bill of rights and responsibilities online, as well as publish its municipal tax ordinances and regulations. It also aligns municipal return filing dates with state filing dates, and makes consistent with federal, state and current municipal tax law the tax return due date for entities with a fiscal year-end other than a calendar year-end.

    Residency changes

    The new law prescribes an income tax employer withholding schedule for all municipalities on a monthly vs. quarterly basis depending on your recent withholding amounts. Finally, municipalities are allowed to treat an individual as a resident for income tax purposes only if the individual is domiciled there, and it adopts 25 generally recognized common law factors for determining an individual’s domicile.

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