Editor’s Note: The ONA is one of the organizations that has signed on in support of Rep. Grossman’s bill, believing it could lead to helpful savings of time and money for many ONA members.
Ohio’s businesses operating in more than one city need a break from the state’s crazy-quilt system of municipal income taxes. House Bill 5, introduced recently by Republican Reps. Cheryl Grossman of Grove City and Mike Henne of Clayton, would provide relief without compromising cities’ home rule.
An earlier effort to deal with the problem went further, proposing a centralized system for collecting municipal income taxes.
That raised the ire of the Ohio Municipal League, whose members are loathe to surrender any control over a revenue source that, for many cities and villages, represents 70 percent of their budgets.
But the municipal group also opposed House Bill 601, Grossman’s and Henne’s effort last year, even though it did not call for centralized collection. The bill died at the end of the legislative session.
The new version, like H.B. 601, calls for simplification and standardization of local income-tax codes without going to centralized collection.
Backers of H.B. 5 point to several further changes from H.B. 601, changes they say were made to address some of the other concerns of cities and villages.
The new measure’s low bill number — generally reserved for high-priority items — indicates how important legislative leaders believe the issue is to Ohio’s economic development.
The problem lies in Ohio’s strong home-rule tradition. The state is one of only 10 that allow cities and villages to assess income taxes.