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Recent Blog Posts

Real Estate and the Tax Bill

On December 22, 2017, President Donald Trump signed into legislation the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Of importance, the bill repealed and/or limited many deductions for individuals, such as implementing a $10,000 cap on deductions for state and local taxes, which includes property tax. This cap, however, does not apply to state and local taxes paid while carrying on a real estate trade or business. The change has led to a spell of homeowners hurrying to prepay their property taxes in order to take the deduction when filing their taxes in April of 2018. Outside of the many changes which will affect individuals at a personal level, there are also many changes, as well as preservations, which will affect the commercial real estate industry.

Increased Tax Relief for Family Farmers in Chapter 12

While most of the US media is focused on various bills that have been hung up in congress over the last year, a bill providing additional tax relief to family farmers through Chapter 12 bankruptcy, has not received much attention. On October 26, 2017, President Trump signed the Family Farmer Bankruptcy Clarification Act of 2017 (H.R. 2266) into law. This new law expands the tax relief granted to family farmers in 2005, and legislatively overturns the narrow interpretation of the Supreme Court of that 2005 act.

IRS Announces 2018 Pension Plan Limitations

On October 19, 2017 the IRS announced cost-of-living adjustments for 2018 retirement plan contributions. For 2018, the amounts that individuals will be able to contribute to retirement plans will increase from $18,000 to $18,500. However, the catch-up contribution limit for employees age 50 and over will remain unchanged at $6,000. This chart summarizes the limitations for 2018:

Changes to Ohio Workers' Compensation Law

On June 30, 2017, Gov. John Kasich signed H.B. 27 into law, not only funding the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC), but also enacting a number of substantive changes. The new law became effective September 29, 2017. Below are some of the important substantive changes that are now law:

Federal Judge Strikes Down White-Collar Exemption Rule

A federal judge in Texas has held that the Department of Labor exceeded its authority by substantially raising the minimum salary threshold required for employees under the "white collar" exemptions. In May 2016, the DOL issued regulations that would have more than doubled the minimum annual salary threshold for the Fair Labor Standard Act's "white collar" executive, administrative and professional exemptions, from $455 per week ($23,660 annually) to $913 per week ($47,476 annually).

Department of Labor Withdraws Guidance on Joint Employment and Independent Contractors

This past Wednesday, June 6, 2017, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued a press release announcing the withdrawal of its 2015 and 2016 guidance, formally called "Administrator's Interpretation" (AI), concerning independent contractors and joint employment.

Small Business Owners Need to Plan an Exit Strategy

The United States Small Business Administration defines a "Small Business" as generally one with less than 500 employees. Of the approximately 29 million businesses in the United States, 99% are, by definition, a small business. Ohio has approximately 927,000 small businesses representing 98% of all companies in Ohio, and those companies employ 46% of the Ohio workforce. A recent study published by Babson College estimates that more than 50% of America's small business owners are over the age of 50. Do they all have an exit strategy?

Public Service Employees May Have Student Loans Forgiven Starting Later This Year

Beginning in October, individuals with student loans that meet certain requirements will be able to apply for forgiveness of the remaining balance of the loans under the Public Service Student Loan Forgiveness Program. While private loans are not eligible, four types of loans being repaid under certain income-based repayment plans are eligible for the program. Loan forgiveness under this program is not considered taxable income.

US House Narrowly Passes American Health Care Act

On May 4, the House of Representatives passed the controversial American Health Care Act (HR 1628) by a 217-213 margin. The AHCA is touted by President Trump and House GOP leadership as the bill that will repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, which was enacted in March 2010. The AHCA now moves to the Senate where its future is uncertain.

Introduced March 6, the original bill faced opposition from conservative and moderate House Republicans in addition to the Democrat caucus, the AMA, AARP, and other interest groups. Although amended in Committee to address some GOP concerns, Speaker Ryan pulled the bill from a scheduled vote March 24 when it became clear there were not enough votes to pass it.

Intellectual property: often the life blood of an Ohio business

Ohio businesses, like enterprises across the country, run a gamut of sizes and types. Cities across the state, and small towns in between, have vibrant and growing pockets of corporate vitality that enrich their communities.

Dayton is certainly no exception to that, of course, with the city and surrounding region housing an exceptionally eclectic and dynamic commercial infrastructure. The Dayton area contains some of Ohio's most important and profitable companies, which contribute immeasurably to the region and state in areas ranging from transportation, media communications and manufacturing to health care, education and a host of other concerns.