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Law Changes Ohio Will See in 2020

Published on Jan 2, 2020 at 10:20 pm in Legal Information.

At Bey & Associates, we focus on ensuring our clients receive the best representation possible. Tackling any personal injury claim means having a comprehensive understanding of state laws. Laws are amended and added regularly in Ohio, so we stay on top of the changes. The arrival of 2020 brings law updates that you should know about. While not all of these laws will have an impact on personal injury matters, you could still see their effects in your day to day life. Let’s take a look at what’s in store.

Raising the Minimum Wage

Currently, the minimum wage in Ohio is $8.55 per hour for non-tipped employees and $4.30 for tipped employees. Starting January 1, 2020, however, those amounts are going up. Minimum wage workers will receive $8.70 per hour for non-tipped work and $4.35 for tipped work. It’s important to note that this wage only applies to companies with annual gross receipts over $319,000. For smaller companies and for employees 14 and 15 years of age the federal minimum wage, $7.25, is standard.

The minimum wage inflation began after a 2006 voter-approved amendment to the Ohio Constitution. Every year, wage increases a small amount to reflect the Consumer Price Index – which is used to calculate inflation. Ohio Democrats, union leaders, and activists, however, want to increase the state’s minimum wage to $15.

While the increase may not affect large corporations, small businesses may be worried about preparing for the increase. It’s important to hire and keep the right employees, as replacing an employee is costly. It’s also important to update your technology to ensure you are reducing production costs as much as possible.

Sales Tax on Peer-to-Peer Car-Sharing Programs

Additions to House Bill 166 were signed into law in mid-2019, but didn’t become effective until later in the year. As such, you may be unaware of its effects until later in 2020. The new portion of the bill defines consumer requirements and confirms that peer-to-peer providers are categorized as vendors for tax purposes.

Peer-to-peer car sharing is the process of existing car owners making their vehicles available to rent for a short period of time. This sharing economy service is similar to how people rent homes and rooms out with platforms like Airbnb. Currently, Turo and Getaround are the leading platforms in the industry.

Because peer-to-peer car rental is private, the company only acts as an intermediary. They don’t pay for gas, do any maintenance to the vehicles, or provide additional vehicles. All the apps work on a similar premise. A vehicle owner lists their car on the platform. They provide information like photos, pricing, and fuel economy. People looking to rent a car can browse the app, find the vehicle that’s right for them, and go to the owner’s location to get it. Once they’re done, they return the car.

Because of how quickly peer-to-peer carsharing grew in Ohio, issues arose in regard to taxes and ensuring the proper parties paid their share. The new law establishes clear standards for insurance coverage for these third-party transactions and ensures all peer-to-peer platforms that receive customers’ money pay applicable state taxes. Additionally, the law requires fair, honest, and uniform consumer pricing and advertising standards in the car rental agency. HB 166 also gives Ohio airports the right to regulate peer-to-peer rental programs.

Additional Amendments to House Bill 166

While the primary changes to HB 166 involved the peer-to-peer carsharing taxes discussed above, changes were also made to the state’s budget. The state’s new budget features significant tax changes, including an expansion of the state’s sales/use tax nexus standards, reductions of individual income tax rates, and changes to business income deductions. If you have questions regarding these changes or want to understand how they could affect you come tax time or during any time throughout the year, we can find answers for you.

Our personal injury lawyers are ready to head into the next decade with the knowledge and skills needed to represent injured victims all across the state – which includes keeping track of any and all new or updated laws. We pride ourselves on making sure our clients understand their legal rights and options.

There will likely be other laws added or changed as 2020 passes, so we’ll be sure to stay up-to-date on all the relevant changes – especially with the laws that could potentially impact our personal injury clients’ claims. If you have questions regarding a legal matter or need clarification about the potential effects of a new or amended law, our Cincinnati attorneys are ready to assist.