Sales tax on Ohio lawyers, CPAs not easy to impose

JULIE CARR SMYTH AP Statehouse Correspondent Published:

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Ohio Gov. John Kasich's (KAY'-siks) plan to tax the services of lawyers, lobbyists and accountants faces a host of hurdles.

Implementing such taxes elsewhere has proven difficult, while some targeted businesses say it's anticompetitive. That means almost guaranteed political opposition.

On the day of his budget unveiling, Kasich conceded lobbyists -- experts on legislative negotiating -- would probably try to get the tax on their industry removed form Ohio's budget bill.

Similar proposals foundered in Michigan and Florida in part because big law and accounting firms often do business across state and international lines, making it a difficult tax to calculate and impose.

Professional organizations for Ohio lawyers and accountants have so far held off judgment, saying they are hearing concerns but still evaluating the Republican governor's complete budget package.