Ohio Municipal League Legislative Bulletin

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December 12, 2014

 

MUNICIPAL TAX REFORM BILL SENT TO GOVERNOR

Am. Sub. HB5 cleared the final legislative hurdle this week when on Tuesday the Ohio House of Representatives voted 60-32 to support the changes made by the Ohio Senate, sending it to Governor Kasich for his approval. On Wednesday, OML Executive Director Sue Cave sent Governor Kasich a letter urging him to use his constitutionally provided authority and VETO this destructive and one-sided attempt at reforming certain provisions of the municipal income tax. A copy of the letter can be found HERE.

As many of our members are well aware of the issues municipalities confronted as the bill worked it’s away through the two legislative bodies, we are disappointed to inform our members that many of our concerns were not addressed, with the legislature choosing to retain reform treatments that are projected to have deep and significant financial impacts on municipal budgets across the state. Below are a few of the top items that we anticipate will result in the most consequential impact on the ability of cities and villages to generate revenue in support of basic services. The list includes but, by no means is limited to:

These are only a few examples of the changes made to the municipal income tax administration, via Am. Sub. HB5. The Legislative Service Commission (LSC) has compiled several documents that give a comprehensive analysis of all the changes made and new treatments initiated through HB5. The first document is the LSC Fiscal Note & Local Impact Statement, explaining to legislators how the potential revenue impact to Ohio municipalities could be in the millions of dollars, can be found at http://www.lsc.state.oh.us/fiscal/fiscalnotes/130ga/hb0005sp.pdf . A synopsis of the amendments adopted by the Ohio Senate Ways and Means Committee here http://www.lsc.state.oh.us/synopsis130/h0005-130.pdf , while the complete analysis for the total bill can be found here http://www.lsc.state.oh.us/analyses130/h0005-rs-130.pdf and the final version of the full text of the bill here http://www.legislature.state.oh.us/bills.cfm?ID=130HB5.

The legislation does not go into effect until January 1, 2016, with some estimated tax provisions beginning in 2015.Next year, the league will be sponsoring a number of training programs for municipal officials, including tax and finance staff, in an effort for local officials to become acquainted with the challenges presented in the new law and how municipalities can effectively administer the tax with the new restrictions.

 

OHIO LEGISLATURE SENDS BILL ESSENTIALLY BANNING RED LIGHT/SPEED ENFORCEMENT CAMERAS TO GOVERNOR

On Wednesday, the House of Representatives approved by a 54-31 vote SB 342, legislation introduced by Senator Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati) requiring, among other things, Ohio municipalities who choose to employ the use of electronic photo monitoring devices to regulate red light and speed violations, must do so only if a uniform police officer is stationed at the location of the device to witness the violation and issue the citation, at the time of the infraction. The bill, as passed by the House, which is the final version that will be going to the Governor, can be found HERE http://www.legislature.state.oh.us/bills.cfm?ID=130_SB_342 and the bill analysis can be found HERE http://www.lsc.state.oh.us/analyses130/s0342-rh-130.pdf .

The Senate concurred on the House changes Thursday and the bill is now before the Governor for his consideration. The league remains opposed to the legislation and have asked Governor Kasich to veto the bill. Our veto request can be found HERE.

 

ANTI ANNEXATION BILL DOES NOT CLEAR SENATE COMMITTEE

Along with all of the other issues the league has been working on during the Lame Duck session, HB 277, legislation that would add additional and unnecessary obstacles to the current TYPE-II annexation procedures, came back to life and was back on the agenda of the Senate State Government Reform and Oversight Committee. The bill, which was amended by the committee and up for a possible vote, was scuttled at the end of the committee hearing. The league offered opponent testimony to committee members. Chairman Burke indicated at the end of the committee hearing Wednesday night that the bill was not ready to be presented to the full Senate and that the issue will be addressed when the next General Assembly convenes in January.

The league would like to thank the municipal officials from across Ohio who have contacted their legislators and shared with them their concern for the bill and how it would adversely impact the rights of private property owners while hampering the ability for regions of the state to provide greater opportunities for economic development.

 

OHIO SENATE COMPLETES LEGISLATIVE WORK, HOUSE RETURNS NEXT WEEK FOR MORE GOOD-BYES

Thursday was the final session for the members of the Ohio Senate, as the final gavel did not come down from President Faber until almost 4am Friday morning. Senators and staff remained in the chambers through-out the evening as final touches were put on a statewide legislative redistricting plan. The Ohio House will be finishing their work with a few final committee hearings on Tuesday and the final House session on Wednesday.

There were some bills dealing with municipal issues that made it through the legislative process successfully, others did not while other concepts were amended or attempted to be added as riders to bills moving through the process. Once the House finishes their work next week and the final outcomes are known for the wide variety of issues presented this General Assembly, we will be doing a final legislative bulletin later next week to inform our members of the legislative resolution to bills concerning Ohio cities and villages. We will also alert our members to actions taken by the Governor.

Have a safe weekend~

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