ZHF Consulting Congratulates Speaker-Elect Derek Merrin


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Speaker-Elect Derek Merrin, pictured with then State Rep. (and current ZHF Consulting Senior Advisor) Ron Amstutz and State Rep. Jim Buchy. (Photo credit, Ohio House of Representatives)


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The Ohio House Republican Caucus announced that Derek Merrin (R-Monclova Township) was selected by his colleagues to be the Speaker of the House for the 135th session of the Ohio General Assembly.


Speaker-Elect Merrin has served in the Ohio House since 2017, having been elected to his first term in 2016. A property investor by trade, Speaker Elect-Merrin has presided over the House Ways and Means Committee since 2019 and introduced significant legislation each session that found its way to the Governor’s desk for his signature.


This session, Tom Zaino, Steve Hall, and Dan Dodd of ZHF Consulting worked extensively with Speaker-Elect Merrin on two tax policy bills. Speaker-Elect Merrin introduced HB 126 regarding the abuse of the property tax valuation appeals process by school districts. On behalf of ZHF Consulting client The Coalition for Fair Property Tax Valuations, the ZHF team worked with Speaker-Elect Merrin and Senate President Matt Huffman, who was also just re-elected Senate President, to strengthen taxpayer protections as the bill moved from the House to the Senate. With the changes supported by President Huffman and Speaker-Elect Merrin, HB 126 restores taxpayer rights and significantly reduces the frivolous legal filings law firms are able to pursue on behalf of government bureaucracy. All property owners owe thanks to Speaker-Elect Merrin for his leadership on HB 126.


The ZHF Consulting team also worked with Speaker-Elect Merrin in his capacity as House Ways and Means Chairman to secure the favorable passage of HB 515 (Hoops-Riedel), which was a priority piece of legislation for The Ohio Society of CPA’s and another ZHF Consulting client, the iDevelopment and Economic Association (iDEA Growth). HB 515 codified two situations in which the sale of a business ownership interest will be considered business income for purposes of applying Ohio’s business income deduction and favorable flat rate. By the end of the process, HB 515 also contained language changing the reporting of sports gaming receipts that protected sports gaming operators from being taxed on wagers placed that were taxed when initially received by the operator but were ultimately paid out as winnings.


The entire ZHF Consulting team congratulates Speaker-Elect Merrin and the rest of his leadership team on the trust placed in them by their colleagues. We look forward to working with them, Senate President Huffman and his Senate leadership team, and Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Husted in the upcoming legislative session on initiatives to improve the economic and business climate for all Ohioans.









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