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Lt. Gov. Taylor brings 'Common Sense' to Lima PDF Print E-mail
Friday, August 30, 2013 12:03 AM

BY NANCY SPENCER

Herald Editor

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LIMA — Everyone wants to keep the business and industry they have and attract more. In January 2011, Gov. John Kasich’s “Common Sense Initiative” was established to independently evaluate the economic impact of state agency regulations on Ohio businesses.

Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor brought the accomplishments of CSI to The City Club in Lima Wednesday.

According to Taylor, a CSI review of rule filings in 2012 changed alcohol requirements for food manufacturers and changed the Ohio Residential Building Code.

“There was a business in northeast Ohio that manufactures soups, sauces and purees for national restaurant chains and they use wine and other liquors in their foods,” Taylor said. “Ohio’s liquor law required food manufacturers to purchase alcohol in retail containers and at retail price. This was keeping this business from being competitive because other states didn’t have this law. We changed that. Now they can get their wine wholesale. The company broke ground for a $5 million expansion in June 2012.”

Taylor said residential building codes were making it prohibitive for new home growth. Her CSI team brought the Department of Commerce staff together with the Ohio Home Builders Association to overcome long-felt tensions. The OHBA estimated the changes from the process saves at least $2,000 on the construction of an average new home over the originally-proposed code.

In 2012, regulatory filings were 44 percent below the historical average with the help of the CSI.

Taylor said initiative focuses on four principals: regulations should facilitate, not hinder, economic growth; regulations should be transparent and responsive; compliance should be as easy and inexpensive as possible; and regulations should be enforced fairly and consistently.

“We can’t make the paperwork to comply with regulations so cumbersome no one wants to fill it out,” she said. “We need to make it as simple as possible and still protect people.”

Taylor’s team has also addressed turn-around time from state agencies.

“The CPA of a small business contacted us about his client, who had overpaid the company’s sales tax by $65,000,” she explained. “The Department of Taxation acknowledged they had overpaid but told them they would give the overpayment back in six months. In six months, that business would have closed; they were already bouncing checks because of the mistake. We got them their check in two weeks. It shouldn’t take that long to do paperwork. We need to make the state more responsive to its stakeholders.”

CSI tests regulatory agencies by requiring more than just ‘because we said so’ when defending a regulations.

“We make them fill out paperwork and tell us what the regulation is and what gives them the authority to do it,” Taylor said. “We also make sure rules are consistent with legislation.”

At the end of the day, Taylor said her goal is the goal of regulation.

“The priority of a regulatory system should be compliance, not punishment,” she said. “We need to make it easy to comply.”

 

Comments  

 
0 #1 2013-09-02 22:05
The good that the CSI has done for Ohio is inspiring and I can only hope that a similar spirit can invigorate Lima.
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