Governor Kasich recently proposed an extensive broadening of Ohio’s sales tax to cover many items and services not previously taxed. One of those is fees for legal services – meaning you could pay more for legal services if this tax is enacted.
This isn’t just a tax imposed at the corporate level. It would impose an additional burden on individual Ohioans seeking legal services on many levels. If you are seeking representation to protect your rights as an employee in the work place, having your wills drafted, or seeking damages for personal injury or for any other reasons, Ohio would collect a sales tax on the fees you pay.
Imposing a sales tax on necessary legal services will create an additional barrier for those seeking representation in our legal system. Individual rights in Ohio have already been restricted in recent years with the enactment of various laws effecting amounts you can recover for your damages in personal injury or malpractice, consumer cases and employee rights. Increasing the cost of legal representation through a sales tax serves as a disincentive for individuals and small businesses to seek legal representation. Large businesses who employ their own in-house counsel for representation would not be taxed. This widens the divide of access to the court system for individuals and small businesses.
If you are concerned about this proposal and its impact on your rights, please contact your state representatives in Columbus to oppose this change.