Hot Issues & Legislation
The Chamber works on your behalf to bring you the latest issues and pending legislation that may impact your business.
Water is the most important long-term economic development issue that we face as a region. That is why the Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce is leading an effort by the business community to facilitate the creation of a regional water authority. It is necessary for collaboration to take place between the City of Toledo and its suburban customers to implement a solution that is in the best interest of the businesses and residents in the region.
Chamber Letter to Elected Officials
Toledo Blade Editorial
In 2016, the state legislature passed and the Governor signed legislation to bring relief to employers by repaying the debt to the federal government for unemployment compensation benefits. This is an issue that has been and will continue to be a high priority in the Toledo Regional Chamber’s advocacy efforts on behalf of our members.
As a result of these efforts, employers will see a dramatic decrease in their federal unemployment tax (FUTA) rate in 2017. In January, the full FUTA credit will be restored dropping the amount employers to just $42 per employee.
To repay the federal debt, a one-time loan from the state’s unclaimed funds account to the Unemployment Compensation Fund was made. Experience rated employers will be assessed an additional 0.6% rate in 2017. This amounts to an additional $54 per employee at the $9,000 wage base. This reduced FUTA rate and repayment assessment will still be almost 50% less than if the federal loan was not repaid by November 2016.
Although the unemployment debt issue has provided relief to businesses in the short-term, the Chamber remains committed to working with legislature and the Administration to address the long-term solvency of the state’s unemployment compensation system. Work on this issue continues to take place between the legislature and stakeholders.
Other States Coverage
The Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation has provided the following information about other states coverage and the trucking industry.
According to BWC, "of all the classes of business operations, trucking always creates confusion about how to provide proper coverage and how to rate workers’ compensation insurance. A trucking company can be located in one state, the truck driver can live in another state, and an injury can occur in a third state. Long haul drivers can cross multiple state lines in one day. For trucking companies who have Ohio’s State Insurance Fund coverage and BWC’s Other States Coverage, we have simplified payroll reporting procedures with the operational scenarios found later in this document. Our goal is to assign the payroll to the state where the claim is most likely to occur and prevent double reporting of payroll."
BWC is encouraging employers to establish e-accounts for payments. This E-account is required to make payments online for the private employer true-up that will take place for the first time under prospective billing between July 1st and August 15th. With over 100,000 employers not set-up to pay this way yet, BWC is concerned the phone call load will be heavy and frustrating. While BWC is making provisions to increase the amount of staff manning the phones during this time, delays can still be likely and so we are encouraging employers to get their E-account set up to avoid the need to call BWC to complete the true-up process. Below is the link to the short video explaining how employers can set up their E-account with BWC.
Municipal Income Tax Reform Law
Provisions passed in House Bill 5, the municipal income tax reform law, went into effect this year. Municipalities are currently amending existing income tax codes to incorporate the new law’s provisions, and your business should be prepping now too in order to be ready by year end. Click HERE for a more in-depth look at the changes that may impact your business.
Military Affairs/180th Fighter Wing
Supporting those who defend us, the Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce has taken the lead in working with the various military units and support organizations in the region. Through the Military Affairs Committee, military units and support organizations meet on a regular basis to explore the needs of the units and service members.
In addition to providing their vital national security role, the units and their members have a tremendous economic impact on the region. For example, the Ohio Air National Guard’s 180th Fighter Wing, based at Toledo Express Airport, alone has an impact more than $100M annually.
During the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) round, the Chamber spearheaded the efforts to retain the 180th in Toledo. Due to the efforts of the Chamber and the community the 180th was not only retained, it increased the number of aircraft and now provides a critical homeland security mission.
Whether it is helping to connect servicemen and women with the services they need or helping to bring the latest F-35 aircraft to the region, the Chamber is committed to working with and enhancing all of the units in the region.
Preparing for DOL Changes to White Collar Exemptions
On May 18th President Obama and Labor Secretary Perez announced the publication of the Department of Labor's final rule updating the overtime regulations, increasing the standard salary level from $455 to $913 per week ($47,476 annually for a full-year worker) and the highly compensated employee total annual compensation requirement from $100,000 to $134,004 per-year effective December 1, 2016.
More information is provided here from James B. Yates, Esq., SHRM-SCP, SPHR and Sarah E. Pawlicki, Esq., SHRM-SCP, SPHR of Eastman & Smith, Ltd, Attorneys at Law.
Ohio’s eight metropolitan chambers of commerce and the Ohio Chamber of Commerce joined together to produce this report. It offers a road map for long-term, transformational change as well as meaningful recommendations for tackling the state's current fiscal crisis. This report includes an analysis of Ohio's existing economic situation, a review of best practices from other states and recommendations that range from the way our state budget is developed to specific productivity improvements. The report was recently recognized by the Harvard Kennedy School for Operational Excellence in Government.
Redesigning Ohio - Full Report
US Chamber of Commerce
Ohio Chamber of Commerce
Great Lakes Metro Chambers Coalition
*The views and opinions expressed in these resources are those of the organizations and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce.