Hot Issues & Legislation
The Chamber works on your behalf to bring you the latest issues and pending legislation that may impact your business.
In early 2017, the Chamber made an offer to identify, and fund, an independent facilitator with experience in the water industry to assist in developing a new regionally governed water system. On January 31, 2018 elected officials from nine communities came together in a historic moment to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to recommend the formation of the Toledo Area Water Authority (TAWA). This is the culmination of almost 20 years of discussions between the City of Toledo and many of the suburban communities on the best way to provide safe, reliable drinking water to the businesses and residents of the region in a cost effective manner. TAWA will be an independent authority with the purpose of providing drinking water to more than 500,000 businesses and residents – with an emphasis safety, reliability and rate predictability. The Chamber is pleased to have led a coalition of business organizations to support the development of an authority that will benefit the region’s businesses and residents for generations to come. We’d also like to recognize TMACOG’s work that has helped us get here today.
The MOU signed to form TAWA was the first of many steps that will need to be completed in the next 12 to 18 months. The Chamber remains committed to working with these communities and the new authority. It will be an example of what can be achieved when we work together in the best interest of the region.
For more information on TAWA please visit www.ToledoWater.org
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.
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.
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.