Ohio COVID-19 Update – Ohioans Protecting Ohioans

On Tuesday, Governor DeWine issued an Urgent Health Advisory in what he calls a new phase in Ohio’s battle against COVID-19 saying that the state is “moving from orders to strong recommendations.” The advisory, called “Ohioans Protecting Ohioans” is about learning to live with the virus.

Here are the details:

  • The new advisory incorporates six feet of social distancing; a limit of 10 people for mass gatherings; frequent hand-washing; and other sanitizing efforts. It incorporates all of the business orders about social distancing and sanitation, including employees wearing masks, as well as efforts to protect employees and efforts to protect the public.
  • It considers our most vulnerable Ohioans as those who can suffer the worst impacts from the virus. The order strongly recommends that high-risk Ohioans stay at home as much as possible. They should avoid places where they are likely to encounter a lot of people.
  • Our Urgent Health Advisory recommends (but does not require) all other Ohioans to stay at their place of residence when possible with the intent of lowering the rate of spread of #COVID-19.
  • While our orders have included limited travel restrictions, these will now be lifted. However, while unnecessary travel within or outside of the state of Ohio is still permitted, it is not encouraged.

Visit coronavirus.ohio.gov for more information.

Delaware County Assistance Programs

It is clear the COVID-19 pandemic will have both a short and long term effect on our nation.  A number of programs have been or are in the process of being rolled out at the state and federal levels, but I’d like to take this opportunity to share with you some of the local programs underway to immediately assist our Delaware County residents and businesses.  These local programs are made possible by the Delaware County Commissioners, the Delaware County Finance Authority, other elected officials, and leaders throughout the Delaware County community.

1.            Rent and Utility Assistance Program (RUAP) – The RUAP provides grants to eligible households of up to $500 to be used towards rent and necessary utility payments.  Eligibility is determined in part as Low-To-Moderate Income households within the County.  Necessary utility payments are considered to be: water and sewer, electric, and/or natural gas/propane.

2.            Small Business Assistance Program (SBAP) – The SBAP provides assistance to those businesses in need of consultant services on topics such as: general legal matters, financial consultations, human resources assistance, and SBA and governmental navigation assistance.  Ideal candidates for this program are businesses of up to 50 employees.

3.            Property Tax Due Date Extension – With the support of the County Commissioners, the County Auditor and County Treasurer are evaluating an extension of the due date for property taxes to be submitted.  A decision on this initiative is expected in the next few weeks.

Delaware County maintains and administers these programs and additional information can be found at economicdevelopment.co.delaware.oh.us/covid-19/

Business Assistance

Rent Assistance

RITA Tax Information

Some tax related information to share and some questions are answered below. Reminder, the filing deadline has been extended until July 1

  • House Bill 197: modified the “20 day rule” by allowing employers to withhold tax for the principal place of work municipality rather than the location where employees are working remotely due to the COVID-19 crisis.  The time frame for this relief is retroactive to the date Ohio declared a State of Emergency (March 9, 2020) and will terminate 30 days after the State of Emergency is lifted.  It was suggested the reason for this provision is to allow for “status quo” during the pandemic to ease the burden of employers tracking employees that are working remotely.The question was raised whether taxpayers working remotely while being withheld for the principal place of work can file for a refund. The legislation does not mention refunds. Some believe the General Assembly did not intend for refunds to be issued while others believe existing case law would support issuing requested refunds. The OML Tax Committee is planning to continue discussion on this topic on April 24, 2020.
  • Penalty and Interest: General discussion regarding the need for municipalities to adjust penalty and interest enforcement for balance due as well as payments for first and second quarter estimated payments due to the filing and payment extension to July 15. In addition, some municipalities are freezing or not charging any penalty and interest for the foreseeable future. Some municipalities have suspended collection and legal action.RITA has already made the necessary adjustments to penalty and interest for the extended filing deadline and estimated tax payments but will continue to enforce penalty and interest on prior year balances due. The Agency has added language to its billing statements advising taxpayers that are unable to remit payment to contact the Agency’s call center or create a service request through MyAccount.

    We are working with taxpayers who need monthly payment arrangements or additional time to make payments under their existing payment plans due to changing situations related to COVID-19. 

  • Payroll Tax Credit: No municipality is aware of a payroll tax credit and there was no change to employer withholding due dates.
  • Stimulus Check Taxability: At this time the consensus is the stimulus checks will not be taxable by municipalities.
  • Where can I find the HB 197 provisions in ORC 718?: The H.B. 197 provisions related to municipal income tax were passed in the uncodified section of the legislation, meaning that those provisions will not be codified into Chapter 718 or any other Chapter of the Ohio Revised Code. Those provisions are contained in Sections 28 and 29 of the legislation

 

SourcePoint Connects Older Adults with Services, Resources during COVID-19 Crisis

SourcePoint Connects Older Adults with Services, Resources during COVID-19 Crisis

DELAWARE—SourcePoint has available resources and support for Delaware County residents ages 55 and older throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

SourcePoint is available to assist older adults who may not have access to food and other vital in-home care services as they self-isolate due to Ohio’s current Stay-at-Home Order. Older adults and/or their families are encouraged to call SourcePoint at 740-363-6677 for assistance, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Information and referral specialists will screen calls and link older adults with the appropriate resources.

In addition to in-home care, SourcePoint provides other resources for older adults and family caregivers to stay connected and healthy, including:

Friendly Call at 740-936-3702 is available for older adults who are looking for friendly conversation and social connection, Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (These calls are not intended to be a space to provide counseling, in-home services management, or health information.)
Online enrichment-center programs, featuring fitness, arts, and education, at MySourcePoint.org/onlineprograms.
Phone and video conference support groups for family caregivers twice a week, as well as a private Facebook forum available 24/7. Contact Jessica Adams, caregiver program coordinator, at 740-203-2399 or for more information.
Online Medicare education at MySourcePoint.org/online-insurance-education. Phone appointments are available for those individuals who have previously completed an in-person New to Medicare class or all three digital presentations.

SourcePoint is Delaware County’s most comprehensive aging services provider. The nonprofit organization provides in-home care services, including Meals on Wheels, emergency response systems, personal care, and more, as well as community programs that promote health and wellness after 55.

Funding for the nonprofit comes from a variety of sources, including the local property tax levy, corporate and private donations, and grants. The nonprofit organization relies on donations to bolster its funding and support the rapid growth of the older population and its needs. Donations are welcome at MySourcePoint.org/give.

SourcePoint is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that provides professional expertise, services, and programs for Delaware County adults who want to thrive after 55. Services and programs are supported in part by the local senior services levy, corporate and private donations, sponsorships, grants, and by the Central Ohio Area Agency on Aging. SourcePoint is a United Way agency.

Latest COVID-19 Updates

  • On May 1, Ohio will begin a phased-in reopening of the state economy that will take place over a long period of time to minimize the health risk to business owners, employees and their customers. Lt. Gov. Jon Husted, in consultation with Ohio Dept. of Health Dir. Dr. Acton, will lead the governor’s board of economic advisors to identify best practices to ensure Ohioans health and safety as businesses begin the process of reopening. As Ohio begins to reopen, the Governor stressed the need to balance:
    • Compliance with public health measures;
    • Implementation of safeguards in business; and
    • Protections for the most vulnerable Ohioans.
  • Gov. DeWine is reminding Ohioans to complete the 2020 Census. Currently,Ohio‘s response rate of 52.2% is higher than the national average and higher than all neighboring states except Michigan, which has a response rate of 55%. To learn more, go to 2020Census.gov or call 844-330-2020.
  • Gov. DeWine announced he will work closely with the Governors of Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Indiana, and Kentucky to coordinate the reopening of the regional economy. The states will review four factors as they reopen their economies: the number of cases in the state and the number of hospital admissions, the amount of hospital capacity, the ability to test and trace cases of COVID-19, and best practices for social distancing in businesses.
  • Lt. Gov. Husted has announced that by the end of next week, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) will be able to start processing the additional $600-a-week payments authorized by Congress’s CARES Act. ODJFS is also planning to launch an online tool that will allow self-employed, 1099 workers to get in line early to ensure their paperwork is filed and ready for review once the technology is ready. The department projects that they will start processing those claims by May 15.

April Planning & Zoning Meeting

Planning & Zoning meeting on Thursday April 9, 2020 at 7:00 pm as per the new Open Meeting requirements created by Sub. H.B. 197, the emergency COVID-19 legislative response signed into law by Gov. DeWine.
To keep order, participants are all muted but default. if you “raise your hand” you can ask a question or be un-muted. Please be patient as we temporarily shift to this new technology. Subsequent meetings will be also held in this fashion until the governor advises otherwise.

To join the meeting…

Registration URL

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/rt/3777713451759661069

Webinar ID

636-833-755

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

*Please register prior to the meeting to get your device set up.