Thursday, January 30, 2014

New Tax Cut for Ohio Small Business Owners

Most Ohio small business owners are eligible for a 50 percent deduction on their first $250,000 of business income as part of tax cuts approved last year by the Ohio legislature.  As part of the tax cut, a business owner can exclude 50 percent of Ohio net business income from the adjusted gross income reported on the state personal income tax return.

Owners of and investors in, Ohio businesses structured as pass-through entities (such as sole proprietorships, partnerships, S-Corps, and Limited Liability Corporations) are eligible for the tax cut.  Owners and investors receiving income from the pass-through entity are required to pay personal income taxes on that income.

For more information, read the full tax alert issued by the Ohio Department of Taxation or check your eligibility for the deduction.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Does a Temporary Disability Require a Reasonable Accommodation?

Employers are required to provide reasonable accommodation to qualified employees with disabilities, unless accommodation would cause undue hardship. But what if the disability is only temporary?

The Employer Handbook blog recently posed this question:

Let's assume that your employee breaks his leg. Doctors tell your employee that he won't walk normally for seven months. Without surgery, bed rest, pain medication, and physical therapy, he "likely" won't be able to walk for more than a year after the accident. 

Bottom line: The employee will heal, but it will take some time. 

But is your employee disabled under the Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended by the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act? 

In a recent case, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals concluded that because "disability" has a broad definition, temporary disabilities may be covered if they are severe. As a result, employers should not immediately dismiss an employee's temporary disability, because it may require a reasonable accommodation.

Read the entire blog post here.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Can You Hear Me Now? Leasing Property for Cell Towers

In addition to leasing property for mineral extraction, landowners may be approached by wireless companies proposing to lease the individual’s property for a cell tower site. As with any lease or contract, property owners can negotiate the terms to ensure the agreement is a win for both sides.

One of the most scrutinized provisions of the lease is the monthly rate paid to the property owner by the wireless company. As you might expect, rates vary widely. Essentially, the more valuable your land is to the company, the higher the monthly rate.

A variety of factors influence the demand for the land, and thus its value. For example:
  1. Where is the site located? As with any commodity, demand drives price. Sites that are in heavily urban areas or along busy highways may bring a higher rate due to the number of potential wireless users.
  2. Are there available alternative sites? A landowner has an advantage if he owns the best site in a twenty mile radius.
  3. How expensive is construction of the tower? A freestanding tower will likely cost more than simply adding an antenna to an existing church steeple. Topography of the land or existing availability of utilities can also affect cost.
  4. How long will the approval process take? If the community’s zoning or development approval is minimal and straightforward, the wireless company can more quickly place the tower into service.
Of course, monthly rates are not the only provision of a cell tower lease to consider. To make sure you are maximizing your lease potential, please consult an attorney.