WEST MILTON — The West Milton village council voted to join other Ohio municipalities in a lawsuit challenging changes to the state’s business tax collection during a special council meeting last week.
According to Kline, the lawsuit includes more than 200 other local governments with a goal of stopping this law to “return our local municipal home rule powers back to where they belong.”
“In discussing this with our law director, we feel strongly that we should join the fight,” Kline said.
West Milton will pay a fee of $1,000 to the law firm of Frost Brown Todd LLC to join a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a provision in next year’s state budget that would allow businesses to file income taxes with the state instead of a local municipality. Many cities claim that this violates the municipal home rule provided by the Ohio Constitution.
Covington also recently voted to join the lawsuit. Kline told council that he had received confirmation from the cities of Tipp City, Troy and Piqua that they are also considering joining the lawsuit.
At their Oct. 10 meeting, council tabled an ordinance authorizing the state’s changes to the tax laws. The ordinance would make several changes to income tax laws, notably requiring municipalities to allow the State of Ohio to collect all net profit income taxes for all businesses in the state through a centralized collection process.
Municipalities that don’t pass this legislation could “risk losing the ability to have an income tax altogether,” Kline told council at that meeting.
Kline noted that the state would keep between .5 percent and 1 percent of everything collected and would not allow local governments to check returns for any irregularities.
“That’s money that belongs here in the community,” Vice Mayor Anthony Miller said last week.
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