Is Ohio business losing out to Kentucky and other states? – The Columbus Dispatch

by | Oct 18, 2022 | Business

The Ohio Chamber of Commerce, fresh off the state’s big wins that include Intel’s $20 billion investment in Licking County and Honda’s $3.5 billion battery plant in Fayette County, has laid out an agenda that it says will make Ohio competitive in the years to come.”We don’t want to rest on our laurels. Now is the time for us to focus on our future. … We don’t want to grow complacent,” Steve Stivers, president and CEO of the business group, said Tuesday at the Statehouse where the chamber promoted its new plan, called Blueprint for Ohio’s Economic Future.While there is plenty to be proud of in Ohio, the report pointed out problems such as a lack of childcare and a shortage of workforce talent. The state also has ranked low in terms of business friendliness and tax burden in some recent reports.The report, prepared in conjunction with consulting firm Accenture, pushes for a variety of tools meant to boost the workforce, recruit out-of-state workers to Ohio, address state and local taxes, and to do more to relieve the administrative burden of taxes, licenses and fees on businesses.Among the recommendations:Review tax burdensThe chamber wants a review of state and local tax liabilities on businesses along with a review on incentives to ensure they attract and retain businesses in Ohio. It’s asking for uniform tax rates and filing requirements to make it easier for businesses to navigate municipal tax requirements.Affordable childcareThe report pushes for policies to make childcare more affordable and available, help people with criminal records, do more to support veterans and those with disabilities in the workforce.Educational opportunitiesThe chamber wants expanded education and job training to help address employers’ urgent need to find skilled workers. Ohio underperforms other states when it comes to offering computer science courses in high schools, for example, the report said.Affordable housing and health careThe chamber wants policies that make it easier to buy a house or afford an apartment, eliminate health disparities and capitalize on Ohio’s unique features such as parks, libraries and museums that offer compelling first impressions.Expand venture capitalThe chamber also wants to expand venture capital investments in the state, increase support for small businesses and come up with programs to help manufacturers buy modern equipment.Stivers pointed to Kentucky as a state that is taking business away from Ohio.”Their tax burden is much lower,” Stivers said. “Now they have a different economy and it’s a little less …

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