News Releases

News Release

September 23, 2003 - Ohio Business Gateway SM  Earns National Award
(State's Internet-based filing system for businesses tops in Innovations Awards)

The Ohio Business Gateway, in just its second year of operations, will receive one of eight, national Innovations Awards from the Council of State Governments (CSG) at its annual meeting in Pittsburgh (PA) next month.

The CSG has been giving Innovations Awards annually to state government programs that demonstrate a unique, effective and proven method of solving a problem or improving a process and that could be easily adopted by other states facing similar challenges. There were 290 programs competing for the awards this year.

The Ohio Business Gateway (OBG) opened for business in January 2002 as a result of Governor Bob Taft’s directing state agencies to develop a system that would make it easier for Ohio businesses to deal with state paperwork and bureaucracy.

Governor Taft says the Innovations Award recognizes what an increasing number of Ohio businesses also see: that the Ohio Business Gateway works.

"The Gateway has grown tremendously in a relatively short time because it offers a better way to do business. It cuts paperwork, time and costs for our business customers and state agencies. It truly is an innovation that contributes significantly to our efforts to retain and attract jobs and business for Ohioans."

To date, nearly 32,000 Ohio companies have signed up to use OBG -- about ten percent of all eligible businesses. Those companies have filed more than 112,000 returns and reports, and made more than 80,000 payments representing about $475 million in taxes.

OBG offers business users a ‘one-stop-shop’ where they can electronically transact business with multiple state agencies. Businesses can currently file and pay different taxes with the Department of Taxation (sales and withholding taxes), Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (workers’ compensation tax), Job and Family Services (unemployment compensation tax) and the Commerce Department (the unclaimed funds report).

New features added to OBG in 2003 allow taxes to be paid by credit card and businesses to delay payments until a date of their choosing (must be prior to the due date). In 2004, plans are to add the school district income tax, and in 2005, the municipal income tax to OBG.

OBG will soon be managed by a Steering Committee made up of representatives from the business community, municipal and state governments including the Ohio Tax Commissioner, and the Directors of the Departments of Administrative Services, Job and Family Services, Commerce and Workers’ Compensation.

OBG is accessible from Ohio’s web site at www.ohio.gov in the Online Services section.

# # #

(For information, contact Gary Gudmundson, Ohio Department of Taxation, at (614) 644-6903.)