Avon City Council passed a resolution 6-0 at its Nov. 23 meeting opposing an attempt to repeal portions of coronavirus-related legislation passed last spring. The bill, among other things, allowed communities where a company is located to continue collecting income tax from those working remotely in different communities.
The repeal attempt, led by State Sen. Kristina Roegner (R-Hudson) and State Rep. Kris Jordan (R-Ostrander), prompted the Ohio Municipal League to urge cities across the state to voice opposition. It is an issue because income tax is the primary revenue source for Ohio cities, funding police and fire service, public health, utilities and infrastructure. Repeal would create revenue cuts in the millions of dollars for cities like Lorain, Cleveland and Akron, according to Avon Law Director John Gasior. The league said Cincinnati, Columbus, Dayton and Toledo would also be hard hit by the repeal, given the number of suburban commuters traveling into urban centers to work. Others believe that suburbs with large office populations could be hit even harder, especially if their daytime population is substantially greater than their resident population.
Gasior and Finance Director Bill Logan said the repeal would provide little benefit to Avon. Logan explained in a phone call that workers and staff at the city's largest employers including Cleveland Clinic Avon and ShurTech Brands work at their business locations as opposed to working from home.
The league said the repeal would destabilize the budgets of Ohio's largest cities, jeopardizing recovery from the COVID-19 economic downturn as well as future growth opportunities.
In a phone interview, Gasior said he would like to see the state create a task force to study the effects of the pandemic on the future of the municipal income tax collection in Ohio before further action is taken.
Local Ohio House members Dave Greenspan (R-Westlake), Gayle Manning (R-North Ridgeville) and Dick Stein (R-Norwalk) as well as senators Nathan Manning (R-North Ridgeville) and Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls) co-sponsored the March legislation, dubbed the Coronavirus Relief Bill. Roegner, who now wants to repeal the income tax provision of the bill, also co-sponsored the bill last spring.
Contact freelance writer Michele Murphy at email@example.com.