Ohio wants Uber to pay $1.6M in sales taxes: What it means

Published: Wednesday, February 14, 2018 @ 2:44 PM

Staff photo
Staff photo

Uber is appealing an order from the Ohio Department of Taxation to pay $1.6 million in sales taxes and penalties.

The ride hailing company is arguing the tax law the state is citing doesn’t apply to the company. A hearing before the Board of Tax Appeals has been set for July.

The case only centers around whether Uber Technologies owes taxes for the third quarter of 2015, but could have larger implications than the $1.6 million it allegedly owes for those three months.

The Ohio Department of Taxation said through a spokesman that it couldn’t comment beyond the final determination it issued to Uber. Uber said in a statement that “While we can’t comment on the specifics of ongoing litigation, we are working closely with the Ohio Department of Taxation on this matter.”

Policy Matters Ohio, a left leaning think tank, said based on the audit for one quarter, Uber would owe $13.5 million in taxes since July 2015 if it had to collect since then, and that figure also does not cover earlier operations or take into account the company’s growth.

RELATED: Uber reduces ambulance usage nationwide says study

The dispute reflects the growing effort to figure out how to tax and regulate the “gig economy,” as companies like AirBnb and Uber are grabbing business from other more heavily taxed industries like taxis and hotels. Regulators are asserting that the states are being cheated on revenue by these startups, which look a lot like businesses the state is already collecting millions in taxes on.

In Uber’s case in Ohio, the company is arguing that it is not a transportation service provider but rather a “transportation network company.” Uber said in its notice of appeal, filed Nov. 6, that its employees don’t provide transportation services, because it is the contracted drivers, not the actual Uber employees, who are doing the transporting.

Uber also argues that collecting a sales tax on the services provided by the drivers violates the Internet Tax Freedom Act.

RELATED: Uber, taxis try to combat drunk driving for New Year’s Eve

The state in a Sept. 9, 2016 letter, told Uber that the meets the definition of a vendor of transportation services, which would have to pay the taxes in question. Uber set the prices, controlled the quality and drivers and received payment for services.

“Not only was the petitioner present at the taxable sale, the petitioner is the catalyst for the transaction,” the state wrote.

Trending - Most Read Stories

Kasich declares emergency over Ohio flooding

Published: Saturday, February 24, 2018 @ 5:51 PM

A man paddles his boat alongside a home in the East End along the Ohio River, Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018, in Cincinnati.  Forecasters expected the Ohio River could reach levels not seen since the region's deadly 1997 floods. (Liz Dufour/The Cincinnati Enquirer via AP)
AP
A man paddles his boat alongside a home in the East End along the Ohio River, Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018, in Cincinnati. Forecasters expected the Ohio River could reach levels not seen since the region's deadly 1997 floods. (Liz Dufour/The Cincinnati Enquirer via AP)(AP)

Gov. John Kasich issued an emergency declaration today for 17 counties in southern and eastern Ohio affected by flooding amid continued downpours.

The  emergency declaration allows the governor to use state resources, including activating the National Guard.

Counties affected are Adams, Athens, Belmont, Brown, Clermont, Columbiana, Gallia, Hamilton, Hocking, Jackson, Jefferson, Lawrence, Monroe, Meigs, Muskingum, Scioto and Washington.

>> Expect heavy rain, strong winds; flood watch in effect, warning for some in Miami Valley

An additional 1 to 2 inches of rain is forecast by Sunday morning, Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Brett Collar said.

Trending - Most Read Stories

Autistic boy reported missing north of Logan County is found deceased 

Published: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 7:24 PM
Updated: Saturday, February 24, 2018 @ 2:30 PM

Samuel Rowold was reported missing from his home in Ada, Ohio, about 85 miles north of Dayton, Friday afternoon. His body was found near his home just hours later.

UPDATE @ 2:30 p.m. (Feb. 26):

An extensive search began following the report just after 3 p.m. Friday that a 13-year-old autistic boy was missing from his home on Township Road 55 near Ada, Ohio, according to the Hardin County Sheriff’s Office.

Samuel Rowold was identified as non-verbal and believed to be wearing only a T-shirt and sweatpants and was shoeless when he went missing, deputies said.

Divers discovered his body around 7 p.m. in a nearby pond, approximately 20 feet from shore.

The search for Samuel involved numerous law enforcement officers, firefighters and EMS and helicopters from the Ohio State Highway Patrol and LifeFlight; the Hardin County Joint Dive Team; and friends, family and neighbors.

UPDATE @ 9:02 p.m.: The boy was recovered from a pond a short distance from his residence, the Hardin County Sheriff’s Office posted on its Facebook page. 

UPDATE @ 8:45 p.m.: Samuel Rowold, an autistic boy listed as endangered missing in Hardin County, has been located deceased, according to the Ohio Missing Children Clearinghouse, with the state attorney general’s office.

No details have been given about the circumstances of the boy’s death. 

We are working to find out more about what happened to Samuel.

INITIAL REPORT

The public is asked to help find a missing 13-year-old boy described as autistic and non-verbal who wandered away this afternoon shoeless.

The Hardin County Sheriff’s Office issued an endangered missing child advisory to help find Samuel Rowold.

Samuel is described as friendly and answers to Sam, stands 6 feet 2 inches tall and weighs 180 pounds with black hair in a buzz cut and brown eyes, according to the sheriff’s office.

OTHER LOCAL NEWS: Mother shot in front of her child; Boy, 17, is in custody

He is of Filipino descent and was last seen about 2:30 p.m. on 726 Township Road 55 in Hardin County.

He was wearing a blue jacket, blue T-shirt with the faded letters EMS or an EMS logo on it and blue jeans.

This is not an Amber Alert, but Samuel is believed to be in danger, according to the sheriff’s office.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Hardin County Sheriff’s Office at 419-673-1268.

Trending - Most Read Stories

Take our poll: Would you vote for a levy to pay for school security?

Published: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 10:53 AM
Updated: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 10:53 AM

After 17 people died in a high school shooting in Florida, one Ohio mayor wants school leaders to consider using the ballot box to improve school safety. (Photo credit should read KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)
After 17 people died in a high school shooting in Florida, one Ohio mayor wants school leaders to consider using the ballot box to improve school safety. (Photo credit should read KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)

After 17 people died in a high school shooting in Florida, one Ohio mayor wants school leaders to consider using the ballot box to improve school safety.

WOIO-TV reports Streetsboro Mayor Glenn Broska in a Facebook post reacting to last week’s Parkland, Florida, school shooting says the Streetsboro schools should either “find” money to pay for armed security guards or put a small levy on the ballot.

The district is outside of Cleveland.

Broska says at least $500,000 a year is needed to pay for two armed guards at each of the district’s four schools. Broska wrote: “We have to defend our children and it starts with us.”

RELATED: 4 students arrested as threats rock southwest Ohio schools

The Streetsboro school board says it will consider Broska’s idea and suggested he might consider a city levy to finance increased school security.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

» Can students get in trouble for #NeverAgain walkouts?

» TRENDING: Hundreds of local students walk out after Florida shooting, more walkouts planned 

Trending - Most Read Stories

Envelope with white powder sent to Sen. Portman’s office

Published: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 5:22 PM
Updated: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 5:22 PM


            Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio
Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio

Hazmat crews are testing white powder that was on an envelope received at U.S. Senator Rob Portman’s office in Columbus on Friday, according to 10TV .

RELATED: Vanessa Trump taken to hospital after white powder scare

Crews were called to 37 West Broad Street in downtown Columbus just before 4.p.m. Friday.

Battalion Chief Steve Martin said the incident remains under investigation at this time.

Channel 10 will continue to update this story as it develops

Trending - Most Read Stories