Rep. Tim Schaffer talks to Board about the sales tax proposal
The ACEC Ohio Board of Directors enjoyed a candid conversation with Ohio House Representative Tim Schaffer at the March 9, 2017 board meeting. Rep. Schaffer is chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, currently hearing the Governor’s tax proposal included in the General Revenue Fund budget, House Bill 49 . Rep. Schaffer encouraged ACEC Ohio to continue to advocate as business owners/principals and as an organization, while the sales tax proposal may be pulled out of the GRF budget, diligence is necessary.
HB 26 passed the Ohio House of Representatives and is being heard in the Ohio Senate Transportation, Commerce and Workforce Committee. The budget currently contains the following provisions:
- Permits county commissioners to levy a $5 motor vehicle fee for transportation purposes.
- Increases earmark for Transportation Improvement Districts from $3.5 million per year to $4.5 million per year.
- Removes application of motor fuel tax to compressed natural gas vehicles.
- Permits county engineers to inspect bridges on the county highway system biennially instead of annually, unless required by ODOT bridge inspection manual.
- Keeps point at which gas tax collected at whole sale level, removed proposal to collect at refinery rack.
- Establishes a Division of Freight within ODOT.
- Requires ODOT enter into two Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contracts each year of the biennium.
Senate Bill 6 (Bridge Partnership Program) Sen. Hoagland
Proponent testimony was presented this week by the Ohio County Engineers and the Ohio County Commissioners in the Ohio Senate on SB 6. The bill extends the Ohio Bridge Partnership Program through the end of FY 2019 and requires the Director of ODOT to submit a report recommending ways to continue to fund the program. ACEC Ohio is an interested party.
Introduced last week, the bill requires a public authority to consider all piping materials that meet the engineering specifications for a state funded water or waste water project. There is a companion bill in the Ohio Senate, SB 95, sponsored by Senator Tehar. The ACEC Ohio Government Affairs committee reviewed this bill and provided the following letter to Representative Edwards expressing a willingness to sit down to discuss why the bill codifies current engineering practice. Letter on HB 121
Residency Bill (HB 180 from last session) update:
The state (under the Attorney General’s office) has filed an appeal of the decision of a Cuyahoga County court that ruled 131-HB180 as unconstitutional because if violates home rule.
Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Michael Russo sided with Cleveland, granting a permanent injunction against the enforcement of the law. Russo wrote that the General Assembly did not have the authority to enact the law because it only seeks to dictate the terms by which municipalities may contract for workers within their region, not provide for the comfort, health, safety and welfare of employees. He also said the law violates home rule powers.
The city of Cleveland sued after Gov. John Kasich signed HB180 (Maag), which banned municipalities from requiring architects and contractors to hire to a certain percentage of local residents for the construction of public projects. Opponents of the law said the measures allow cities to make sure local workers are getting jobs on local construction projects, while supporters said such laws raise costs and hurt competition.
ACEC Ohio currently has legal counsel drafting an Amicus Brief as part of this appeal, other coalitions members such as the Ohio Contractor’s Association are also drafting briefs.