By Peggy Kirk Hall, Director of Agricultural Law, Ohio State University Agricultural and Resource Law Program
The weeks after Thanksgiving have been busy at the Statehouse, but no creatures are moving now as the General Assembly retires for Christmas. While agriculture has not received any final legislative Christmas presents, a few bills have moved forward and could be passed early next year. Here is an overview of agricultural legislation in Ohio.
New Ohio Law
SCR 13 – Repeal of personal income tax. Senator George Lang (R-West Chester) introduced a concurrent resolution on December 9, 2021 expressing the legislature’s intention to repeal personal income tax within ten years. The resolution cites disincentives to reside in Ohio, repeals by other states and impacts on the business climate as the rationale for the intention to repeal income tax. The Senate referred the measure to its Ways and Means Committee on December 15.
HB 484 – Walleye as official state fish. Representatives Michael Sheehy (D-Oregon) and Lisa Sobecki (D-Toledo) introduced a bill that would designate walleye as the official fish of the state of Ohio. The bill was referred to the House Agricultural & Conservation Committee on November 16, 2021.
HB 507 – Poultry chicks. This bill to reduce the minimum number of poultry chicks sold in batches of six to three was introduced by Rep. Koehler (R-Springfield) on December 8, 2021.
Ohio legislation in motion
HB 440 / SB 241 – Agriculture related deposit program. Part of the “Ohio Gains Initiative,” these bills would make revisions to Ohio’s agriculture-related deposit program, which provides for interest rate cuts of up to 3% on loans and lines of credit for farmers and agribusinesses. The legislation would extend the program to agricultural cooperatives and replace the maximum loan of $ 150,000 in amounts determined by the state treasurer. The House passed the bill on December 9, 2021. The Senate Committee on Financial Institutions and Technology released its bill on December 15, 2021, so the bill is expected to go to the Senate soon.
HB 397 – Agricultural Leases. For agricultural crop leases that do not specify how and when to terminate the lease, HB 397 would require that a landlord who wishes to terminate the lease provide written notice of termination to the tenant by September 1. The termination would take effect on December 31. the year the notice is given or the date harvest is complete, whichever occurs first. The House passed the bill on December 8, 2021, and the Senate referred it to the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources on December 15, 2021.
HB 321 – Auctioneers. The proposal makes several revisions to auctioneer licenses, including eliminating the apprenticeship requirement and replacing it with a program of study by auction at an accredited institution; removal of the oral examination requirement; increase the number of written exams offered; withdraw the special auctioneer’s license; allow auction companies to provide online or live auction services; and granting the Ohio Department of Agriculture authority over Internet auctions, which are currently exempt from ODA oversight. The bill passed the House on December 9, 2021 and was referred to the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources on December 15, 2021.
HB 95 – Beginner farmers. This law was passed by the House on June 28, 2021 and finally received its second hearing before the Senate Ways and Means Committee on December 7, 2021. It proposes to allow individuals to be certified as beginning farmers and would establish income tax credits for certified entry-level farmers. for farmers who participate in approved financial management programs and for landlords who sell land and farm assets to certified entry-level farmers.
SB 210 – Postnuptial agreements. Spouses could agree to terminate or change prenuptial agreements after marriage under this proposal, bringing Ohio in line with many other states. The bill was passed by the Senate on November 16, 2021, and was assigned to the House Civil Justice Committee on December 7, 2021.
SB 246 – Income tax. The purpose of this bill is to avoid the $ 10,000 Federal and Local Tax Deduction Limit (SALT) for Federal Income Tax by authorizing a qualifying individual income tax on income a flow-through entity allocated in Ohio and a refundable income tax credit for the tax paid. He received his third hearing with the Senate Ways and Means Committee on December 14, 2021.
SB 247 – Income tax. The sale of an interest in a business would be considered business income for Ohio income tax purposes if the federal income tax law considers the sale to be a sale of assets. or if the seller is materially involved in the business activities during the tax year in which the interest was sold or any of the previous five tax years. If passed, the legislation would apply to all pending audits, reimbursement requests, re-assessment requests and appeals from the date the bill comes into force within 90 days. The proposal was the subject of a third hearing with the Senate Ways and Means Committee on December 14, 2021..
Ohio legislation stalled
HB 175 – Water pollution. This controversial legislation would exclude “transient features” – those that result from the flow or pooling of surface water in direct response to precipitation – from water pollution control programs. The bill was passed by the House at the end of September and was the subject of a second hearing by the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources on November 30, but has not received attention since that time. dated.
SB 47 – Compensation for overtime. The proposal would exempt an employer from paying overtime for employer travel to and from a job site, pre and post-opening activities, and minor tasks performed beyond scheduled working hours without authorization, such as checking emails or phone messages. It was passed by the Senate in September and received a first hearing before the House Trade and Labor Committee, but no further action has taken place since October 26, 2021.
SB 257 – Income tax credit for donations to the cantons. Eligible donations of cash, goods or services accepted by a township would benefit from a refundable income tax credit of up to $ 5,000 under this proposal. The bill has not been heard since it was referred to the Senate Ways and Means Committee on November 10, 2021.
SJR 3 – Constitutional right to hunt and fish. If passed, the joint resolution would submit to Ohio voters a constitutional amendment that would guarantee the right to hunt, fish, and harvest wildlife, subject only to laws and regulations that promote the conservation and management of wild animals. wildlife or preserve the future of hunting and fishing. No action has been taken on the resolution since it received a second hearing before the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources on November 16, 2021.