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Current News

Senate Passes Terminal Insurance Contracts Bill (HB71)

The Ohio Senate unanimously has approved HB71, the OPGA supported bill that would prohibit certain indemnity agreements in motor vehicle carrier transportation contracts.

HB71 is a significant step in leveling the playing field between propane motor carriers and terminals, by preventing shippers, in the case of their own negligence, from demanding that the motor carriers (or the motor carrier's insurance provider) pay for the defense and damages arising from the shipper's negligent actions.  42 states have enacted "anti-indemnification" statutes.

The bill now goes to Governor Kasich for his signature.

Home Heating Assistance Available for Ohioans Needing Help

The Winter Crisis Program assists low- and middle-income utility customers in Ohio who are threatened with heating disconnection or are running low on bulk fuel.

State agencies remind consumers of several programs that help Ohioans cover home-heating costs.

The Ohio Development Services Agency staffs a hotline,
1-800-282-0880, Monday through Friday.

Operators can, among other things, help determine eligibility for the Winter Crisis Program, which is for low- and middle-income customers who are threatened with heating disconnection or are running low on bulk fuel.

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio notes that consumers can get their heat restored by paying $175 or the amount due, which ever is less, under an existing program.

Additional details are at www.winterheat.ohio.gov.

Motor Fuel Tax Payment Alert:

File your motor fuel tax returns online or submit file-by-paper requests now.

Problems have arisen for Ohio Motor Fuel Taxpayers with the conversion this monthto electronic filing and payment, and OPGA urges members to act now to avoid further glitches.According to the Ohio Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association, some OPMCA and OPGA members have encountered technical challenges with the new online filing system. BEWARE: Any small error in your online filing-an extra dash or space, or even a miss-keyed number-will cause your tax return to be immediately rejected. Do not wait until the last minute to submit your return! If your company has not already done so, it is critically important to act immediately to file your October return online or submit your request to file by paper.

The Ohio Department of Taxation has issued new, eight-digit account numbers for all Ohio motor fuel licenses. In order to comply with the electronic filing mandate, all licensed motor fuel dealers must also obtain accurate account numbers for all retail customers to whom they sell fuel.

Like any type of electronic filing, proper and exact formatting and strict adherence to the established guidelines is required in order to ensure your filing is accepted. The Department of Taxation puts the onus on tax filers to take responsibility for updating its systems and software to match the State's specifications. To that end, the Department of Taxation maintains a website with helpful information on motor fuel electronic filing, and guidelines specific to both ASCII and XML protocols, the two web-based protocols utilized for online filing.

The Department of Taxation is offering an opt-out option by which taxpayers may file a Form MF-FBP: Request to File by Paper. According to the Department, such requests may be granted for "good cause." While what constitutes "good cause" is not clearly defined, it likely will involve a good faith attempt to comply with electronic filing requirements, as well as a system-based reason for the opt-out request. Even then, approval to file by paper likely would only be temporary.

Don't wait until the last minute to file your October return! Technical assistance is available from the Department of Taxation. Please contact Matt Long by phone at 614.466.1096 (direct dial) or by e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Businesses Push Repeal of Employment Service Tax

Five business owners have given strong proponent testimony in support of House Bill 343, legislation that would repeal the sales tax on the purchase of employment services. Their testimony underscored that Ohio’s employment services tax impedes job creation and business investment by imposing sales tax not just on the fee of the employment service provider, but also on the wages of the person hired. The absurdity of this tax is further reflected by the fact that it even applies to the employer’s matching payments for FICA and Social Security.

Read more: Businesses Push Repeal of Employment Service Tax

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