GREENVILLE – The National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) invited Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted to Greenville for the quarterly meeting of the Western Ohio Area Action Council.
Husted informed council members of some of the success Ohio is seeing with new business filings. The Secretary pointed out the newest initiative to make the Ohio income tax more uniformly administered for businesses will continue that success. The proposal is to make municipal income tax codes uniform across the state and possibly have a central collection point. He has found some businesses are paying a lot of money to CPAs to stay in compliance. There are times when the fee is as much as the tax. “The compliance cost is out of control. It has to be changed,” he said. Husted noted he understands local governments have concerns about revenue, but believes streamlining the process will make a positive difference.
“The business environment in Ohio is getting better. The economy is picking up,” said Husted. When he first took office Ohio was experiencing an economic slide and lost hundreds of thousands of jobs. “We’ve gained back hundreds of thousands of jobs,” he noted. “It’s because of a lot of those things NFIB has been involved in.” Proof is in the number of business filings his office has experienced over the past few years. In both 2012 and 2013 his office set records for new businesses filing in Ohio. He pointed out 2014 is on track to set another new record.
Husted, Ohio’s chief election officer, also spoke about some of the changes in election procedure and the amount of time Ohioans are given to cast their ballot. With four election cycles each year, his office is counting or certifying votes and dealing with other matters pertaining to voting, not including law suits, 300 of 365 days a year. He defended the extended election period noting he wants every Ohioan to have an opportunity to cast a ballot.
He has removed over 700,000 deceased persons and 40,000 duplicates from the voter registration roll and his office has pursued persons trying to commit fraud during an election. They found 20 persons that voted in Ohio and another state and 219 non-citizens on the rolls.
He encouraged citizens to cast their ballot in future elections. In the 2013 General Election, 43 races were decided by one vote or were tied. “Every vote matters,” he said.
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