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    June 15, 2018

    OML UPDATE AT-A-GLANCE

    Here are the top three things you need to know from this past week:
    • The U.S. Supreme Court ruled this week that it is legal for Ohio to purge its voter rolls of people who fail to vote in three successive federal elections or the intervening local elections and failed to respond to notices. This ruling overturned a ruling by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.
    • This week, mayors from around the state convened for another successful Mayors Association of Ohio Annual Conference to share best practices, network and hear from a variety of speakers. The OML and the Mayors Association of Ohio want to thanks to all who came out and made the conference a success.
    • The Ohio Municipal League and the Ohio Municipal Attorneys Association will be hosting a webinar regarding the new law affecting the placement of small cell wireless facilities in public right of ways. The webinar will be held Thursday, June 21st. For more information please reference our article below.
     
    CALL TO ACTION:
    TESTIMONY NEEDED FOR BILL LEVELING
     PLAYING FIELD FOR LOCAL TAX COLLECTION
     
    Next Tuesday, the House Ways and Means Committee will hold a second hearing for proponent, opponent and interested party testimony on HB 571. This bill, sponsored by Rep. Greenspan (R - Westlake), requires all entities selling hotel accommodations to remit the tax they already collect at the full rate for the price the consumer pays for the room.

    Currently, Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) are collecting tax on the full rate a consumer pays for a hotel room they book through the OTA online. However, the OTA is not remitting that full tax to the local governments. This results in a loss of millions of dollars for Ohio's municipalities. It is important to make clear that this bill is in no way creating a new tax, nor is it increasing the price a consumer will have to pay for a hotel room when they book through an OTA. The price the consumer currently pays already includes full tax on the full price. The issue lies with the OTA, who is not remitting that tax to the local governments.

    HB 571 will guarantee fairness by ensuring OTAs must remit the full tax they are currently collecting. It will protect local governments and Ohio's travel economy from being denied the taxes they are rightfully owed. HB 571 has the potential to generate millions of dollars in revenue for Ohio's local governments without creating any new tax.

    The League is encouraging our members to come to the Statehouse to express their support for this legislation. The hearing will be held at 10am in the House Ways and Means Committee in Room 121 on Tuesday, June 19th. For questions on testifying or to confirm your availability, please contact the League's Director of Communications, Ashley Brewster, at abrewster@omlohio.org.

     
     
    HOUSE COMMITTEE CONTINUES HEARINGS
    ON URBAN BLIGHT LEGISLATION

    This week, the House State and Local Government Committee held a second hearing on a bill that would help municipal officials deal with urban blight within their jurisdictions. HB 633, sponsored by Rep. Boggs (D - Columbus) and Rep. Miller (D - Columbus), would prohibit individuals who own or control private property in municipal corporations from depositing litter on that property.

    During its second hearing before the House State and Local Government Committee, proponents testified to the importance of this bill stating that it grants municipalities another tool with which to address urban blight and closes a loophole in current Ohio law that prevents municipalities from targeting litter on private properties. Two Columbus residents in the Hilltop area, both supporters of the bill, testified as to how the bill could help address environmental and public health issues within their neighborhood, as urban blight has demonstrably created substantial sanitation issues where they live. The Ohio Municipal League offered written proponent testimony supporting the bill, which you can read HERE. If you are interested in testifying in support of the bill should it come up for subsequent hearings, please contact Ashley Brewster, the League's Director of Communications, at abrewster@omlohio.org.

     
    SMALL CELL INFRASTRUCTURE DEPLOYMENT TRAINING WEBINAR

    We want to alert our members to an upcoming webinar hosted by the Ohio Municipal League and the Ohio Municipal Attorneys Association titled "Small Cell Wireless Service & Placement of Facilities in the Public Way" on June 21st from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. The program, which will be a discussion of the new law, will be presented by Gregory J. Dunn from Ice Miller law firm who was instrumental in the development of the language adopted by the legislature. Mr. Dunn has represented municipal and telecommunication clients for over 33 years and has a comprehensive understanding up public utility and broadband issues.

    This webinar is an important opportunity to learn about HB 478, legislation recently passed by the Ohio General Assembly that sets guidelines for the deployment of small cell infrastructure in municipal public right of ways. The legislation becomes effective August 1, 2018 and it is important municipal leaders are familiar with the changes and actions local leaders will need to consider in the interest of managing future requests by telecommunication providers and the anticipated increase in installation applications.

    Those who would like to register can email the registration form, which you can access HERE, to Cyndie Grant at cgrant@omlohio.org and then mail their $100 registration check to the OML offices at 175 S. Third St. Ste. 510, Columbus, OH 43215.
     
    COMMITTEE RECAP: BILLS OF MUNICIPAL INTEREST

    This week, both legislative chambers cancelled session and by proxy, all but one committee cancelled their hearings. The full Legislature should resume its normal calendar next week. Here are the bills of municipal interest that received committee hearings this week:
    • SB 239 - REGIONAL COUNCILS OF GOVERNMENT. Sponsored by Sen. Dolan (R - Chagrin Falls), the bill would modify the law concerning regional councils of governments. During its first hearing before the House State and Local Government Committee, the bill's sponsor explained that the bill is designed to facilitate further transparency for regional COGs. The League is supportive of this legislation.
    • HB 662 - IMMIGRATION LAWS. Sponsored by Rep. Howse (D - Cleveland) and Rep. Ramos (D - Lorain), would clarify a municipal corporation's authority to enact policies to effectively allocate its resources in order to satisfy municipal law enforcement needs and comply with federal immigration laws as appropriate. During its first hearing before the House State and Local Government Committee, the bill's sponsor explained that the bill allows local governments to dictate how local law enforcement and its resources are deployed without requiring them to comply with federal immigrations policies that political subdivisions deem will be harmful to their local communities or businesses. The League is still reviewing this bill.
    • HB 664 - NALOXONE USE. Sponsored by Rep. Ramos (D - Lorain), would cease payments to a subdivision that materially hinders or prevents its personnel from carrying and using naloxone. During its first hearing before the House State and Local Government Committee, the bill's sponsor explained that the bill targets local governments that don't allow first responders to carry naloxone or that restrict whether or not a first responder can administer naloxone if an individual has had a certain number of prior overdoses. The League is still reviewing this bill.
    • HB 670 - MUNICIPAL TAXES. Sponsored by Rep. Barnes (D - Cleveland), would enact the "Simplified Alternative Withholding Tax Compliance Act" authorizing an employer to enter into an agreement with a municipal tax administrator to prescribe, subject to certain parameters, the portion of nonresident employee wages that will be subject to the municipal corporation's income tax. During its first hearing before the House State and Local Government Committee, the bill's sponsor explained that the bill would let a small business work out an allocation schedule with a municipal taxing authority at the discretion of the tax administrator. The League is still reviewing this bill.
     
    REGISTER NOW FOR OML'S TWO
    REMAINING REGIONAL CONFERENCES

    Last week, the League held its second 2018 Summer Regional Conference in Mason. We appreciate all who attended our conference and helped make it both an important educational experience and a valuable networking opportunity. We are looking forward to the two remaining conferences this year.

    The goal of these Regional Conferences is to provide an opportunity for League members prevented from attending our three-day Annual Conference held in downtown Columbus, either because of distance constraints or other issues to have access to the timely information our members receive at our Annual Conference and to experience some of the opportunities that the conference provides. We have put together a single day program of general session topics with presentations by featured speakers who are experts in their municipal sectors.

    The 2018 Summer Regional Conferences are an invaluable opportunity for municipal officials statewide to have the ability to be presented with critical information directly related to the success of their own communities, as well as connect and network with other local leaders in their area. This opportunity is not limited to League members but is a great opportunity for all municipal and local government officials to refresh their skill sets and get the most recent information on critical topics.

    Registration information for the forthcoming conferences, including the conference agenda, can be accessed HERE.

    The dates and locations for the remaining 2018 Summer Regional Conferences are as follows:

    • Northeast: Friday, June 29th at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton.
    • Northwest: Friday, August 17th at the Hancock Hotel in Findlay.
    We encourage you to sign up for these remaining conferences as soon as possible, as space will be limited, and we look forward to seeing you there!
     
    TWO CITY ENGINEERS SOUGHT FOR OHIO'S
     RESEARCH INITIATIVE FOR LOCALS (ORIL) BOARD

    The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) is seeking two city engineers for appointment to their Ohio's Research Initiative for Locals (ORIL) board. City engineers appointed to the board would serve 4-year terms which begin on January 1, 2019. The League has been asked to identify two city engineers who are able and willing to serve on the ORIL board by August 31st. The position is volunteer and receives no compensation. For more information click HERE. If you are interested, please email the League's Deputy Director Ed Albright at ealbright@omlohio.org.