Marietta company ordered to pay back taxes

MARIETTA — A lawsuit filed against a local company by the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services has been decided, with Malone Renovations of Marietta ordered to pay $81,491.33 in back taxes, fines and interest.

The Washington County Common Pleas Court Judge Randall Burnworth sided with the ODJFS in the case, which was originally brought to the court’s attention in May after Attorney General Mike Dewine’s office used special counsel Mary Spahia-Carducci to collect back unemployment compensation taxes from the business.

Dan Tierney, spokesman for Dewine’s office, said these cases happen frequently.

“Unemployment compensation is by far the most common form of collections we deal with,” he said.

Keith Malone, owner of Malone Renovations, said Friday that he didn’t feel his company had a fair chance at having their case heard.

“We were not allowed an appeal process,” he said.

Malone said he had used sub-contractors for a previous job for which the state classified them as regular employees. Malone said he tried to bring this fact to the attention of the court to no avail.

“They said it was a clear cut thing, and that they weren’t sub-contractors,” he said.

Malone said the simple paperwork error that was made in no way should reflect on the professionalism or integrity of his business.

“It’s just misplaced documentation that ended up hurting me,” he said.

Malone said the ruling won’t affect his day-to-day operations or his use of sub-contractors for jobs in the future. Malone did give one piece of advice for other business owners in the area who might face similar circumstances.

“Keep your paperwork in order,” he said.

According to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, the Ohio Unemployment Compensation Trust Fund is funded by employers and is used to pay benefits to their unemployed workers. An employer becomes liable to pay into the fund when the employer has at least one employee in covered employment for some portion of a day in each of 20 different weeks within either the current or the preceding calendar year. They also become liable if they pay at least $1,500 in any calendar quarter to employee wages.