Ohio teams up with Paul Werth Associates on statewide tax campaign

COLUMBUS, OH: The state of Ohio has signed a $1.2 million contract with Paul Werth Associates to design and implement a campaign that will target citizens eligible for a general tax amnesty program.

COLUMBUS, OH: The state of Ohio has signed a $1.2 million contract with Paul Werth Associates to design and implement a campaign that will target citizens eligible for a general tax amnesty program.

As part of H.B. 153, The Biennial Budget Bill, signed into law in June, delinquent taxpayers can resolve their Ohio estate tax, corporate franchise tax, motor fuel tax, sales tax, and individual income tax liabilities by paying all the tax due as of May 1, 2011, plus one-half interest, with penalties and the other half of interest being waived. The program begins on May 1, 2012, and will conclude on June 15, 2012.

Paul Werth Associates held its first planning meeting with state officials on December 20 as it begins to develop an approach that will tie the campaign together and raise awareness of amnesty on a statewide basis before the time period for applying opens and closes.

“Their proposal had a lot of marketing elements that added up to a maximum exposure for our amnesty program,” said Gary Gudmundson, communications director of the Ohio Department of Taxation. "That's what we were looking for."

The firm's communications strategy is expected to include earned media, electronic and broadcast media, and transit or outdoor advertising. It will also need to create promotional materials, PSAs, and creative partnership opportunities.

“The point of this campaign is essentially to bring people in out of the shadows and allow them to clear up delinquent tax obligations at the lowest possible costs,” Gudmundson added.

A representative from Paul Werth Associates did not return request for comment.

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