February 17, 2015
In 2013 BOMA Ohio opposed a massive sales tax expansion proposal that was in the governor’s biennium budget proposal. Last year BOMA Ohio opposed a modest increase in the Commercial Activities Tax (CAT) in the governor’s Mid-biennium Budget Review (MBR).This year’s budget proposal features a more scaled-back sales tax expansion and a slightly larger increase to the CAT. Something to note is that the CAT hasn’t been increased since it was first enacted in 2005. The theory is that these modest increases will help cushion the loss in revenue to the state that will result from the substantial (23%) personal income tax cuts that are also part of the budget.Governor Kasich would like the sales tax to increase from 5.75% to 6.25% and now include services such as lobbying, market research, consulting, debt collection, cable subscriptions, parking and travel. Parking is, of course, the main point of contention for BOMA Ohio. We oppose the inclusion of parking in the expansion proposal. Many commercial office buildings have attached parking lots and garages.Especially in urban areas, parking is at a premium and costs are high for users and owners & managers alike. Our cities are also trying to reinvigorate their urban cores and this tax would significantly impede those efforts. Additionally, the City of Cleveland already levies an 8% commercial parking tax assessment.This time around the proposal is to increase the CAT rate to 0.32%. Other CAT provisions: reduce the CAT on the first $1 million from $800 to $150 for taxpayers with annual taxable gross receipts between $1 million and $2 million.BOMA Ohio is still finalizing their official Talking Points for Advocacy Day at the Statehouse (April 22nd), but opposition to parking being included in the sales tax expansion and the increase in the CAT will surely be front and center. Please contact Scott Esterly if you would like to attend Advocacy Day - it is a great time and transportation is provided!