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Budget Season is Over, Time to Hit the Beach

July 7th, 2015 by Judd Ballard

The Ohio tax landscape has been plenty busy this summer, keeping pace with constant changes in our weather.  Below are some of the highlights that have finalized in the last few months, allowing the Ohio Legislature to pack up the family station wagon and head anywhere but here.

Ohio Budget Bill
Substitute House Bill 64 (“HB 64”) was signed into law June 30th with limited tax provisions touted by Governor Kasich in the last six to twelve months.  Personal income tax rate cuts continue to be the theme of Kasich’s tenure (resume building for a 2016 presidential bid!).

Ohio also implemented the sales/use tax “click-through” nexus standard for out-of-state businesses.  The same standard, originally put in place in New York specifically targeting online retailers Amazon and Overstock, has been a highly debated topic, having been kicked around and even legislated in several states since 2008.  The end-all to states battling this out with taxpayers ultimately comes in the form of the federal Marketplace Fairness Act.

Amazon Begins Collecting Ohio Sales Tax
Amazon has been all over the news in Columbus as they settle on the specific location of their planned data centers.  In no ironic coincidence to the new sales/use tax nexus standards, Amazon announced starting June 1st they’ll be collecting sales tax on all taxable sales made for delivery to Ohio customers.

As a result, for the rampant Amazon shopper hoping to avoid a few bucks forgoing the traditional brick and mortar store and ditching the use tax remittance each individual tax filing season, life got a little easier.  By all means, this effectively re-levels the Ohio playing field for the very same brick and mortar stores missing out on foot traffic from the penny pinching online Amazon loyalists.

Ohio Sales Tax Holiday
Finally, as announced earlier this year, Ohio is offering a one-time, one-weekend sales tax holiday starting Friday, August 7th allowing families to take advantage of discounted back to school buying.  The sales tax holiday idea has been widely used in other states in the past, and quickly gained in popularity coming out of the economic recession six and seven years ago.

With all the dirty work put in place, pack up the car and head south.  And if you’re headed toward the Carolina coast, don’t forget your Kevlar-laden shark suit.

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