With the nation firmly entrenched in a recession, states across the country are contending with budgetary problems. In an effort to even out their bottom lines, many of them are considering measures that will tax their already cash-strapped residents even harder. What these honest taxpayers may not even be aware of is that they themselves could be contributing to the financial problem. And they’re doing it in ways they could never suspect – for instance by hiring an out-of-state roofer who may not be paying state sales tax on its revenues.
News Channel 4 out of Oklahoma City recently Local Roofers in Ocala FL brought this issue to light in an article titled “Out of state roofers evade OK taxes.” In the wake of several hail storms and tornadoes sweeping through the region, “Thousands of people are getting new roofs, but one local roofer says some of the out-of-town companies that are fixing many roofs may not be paying state taxes.” While the law clearly states that if the money is made in the state, Oklahoma gets to reap the taxes on it, “the reality is that money made here (in Oklahoma) often leaves and goes unreported.” And the situation isn’t confined just to Oklahoma.
Now, on top of having to worry about whether they themselves are being scammed, homeowners who are in need of a roof repair or replacement have to consider the impact the roofing company they’re choosing will have on their state government – and potentially down the road on the tax rate they’re assessed. By hiring an out-of-state roofing company, they’re also taking local jobs away from their neighbors and community members.
How can you avoid this situation? Before signing on the dotted line, check to make sure the roofer you’re planning on hiring is registered in your state. Your home state’s Secretary of State Web site is a good place to start. Beginning November 1, 2010, roofing companies in Oklahoma will be required by law to register with the state, but such legislation does not exist everywhere. Therefore, when it comes to hiring a roofer, it behooves the homeowner to beware.
It’s not surprising then that this article drew a lot of heated comments from Oklahomans. In addition to expressing their ire over the tax-avoidance issue, many of them highlighted other problems they experienced by electing to work with a disreputable roofing company. As regular everyday citizens, their advice bears heeding.