COLUMBUS – Gordon Gough, President and CEO of the Ohio Council of Retail Merchants, expressed gratitude and praise for the work of the Ohio General Assembly in passing a biennial budget bill, House Bill 166, that will benefit both the state’s consumers and businesses alike. Gough hailed Governor DeWine, House Speaker Larry Householder and Senate President Larry Obhof for their leadership in crafting such a balanced proposal. “The Governor, Speaker and President heard the concerns of Council members and responded accordingly, crafting a budget bill that will benefit all Ohioans,” stated Gough. “I commend their dedication and hard work on behalf of the people of this state.”

Of specific importance to Council members is language that will require online-only sellers doing business in Ohio to collect and remit sales tax on their Ohio sales. In June of last year, the United States Supreme Court cleared the path for states to require these “remote sellers” to collect and remit sales taxes in their landmark South Dakota v. Wayfair decision. “Brick-and-mortar retailers have been at a competitive disadvantage to their online counterparts for many years,” said Gough. “Requiring all sellers, regardless of their state of origin, to collect and remit sales tax on their Ohio sales levels the playing field for all retailers.”

Gough also noted the importance of retaining the $250,000 business investor income deduction and the 3% cap on income above that amount. “The majority of our members are small business owners, many of whom are organized as pass-through entities and would have been negatively impacted by a change in their tax status,” he said. “We applaud the Governor for working with legislative leaders to retain existing law.”

Gough concluded by saying that the Governor, the Speaker of the House and the Senate President have demonstrated exemplary leadership in creating a two-year spending proposal that reflects the needs and concerns of all Ohioans.

Founded in 1922, the Ohio Council of Retail Merchants is Ohio’s oldest and largest advocate for the retail industry, representing more than 7,000 businesses across the state. Ohio’s retail industry accounts for 18% of Ohio’s Gross Domestic Product. Directly or indirectly, the retail industry employs 1.5 million people, 1 in 4 Ohio jobs, more than any other industry in Ohio.

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