Council discusses tax collection

By Cecilia Fox -

WEST MILTON — On Tuesday, the West Milton village council tabled an ordinance that would allow the state to collect business income taxes and discussed upcoming legislation prohibiting parking on front lawns.

According to Municipal Manager Matt Kline, the tabled ordinance would make several changes to income tax laws.

“Some of these changes are minor. There are some basic date changes, etc. However, there is one major change and that is: it would require each municipality to authorize the State of Ohio to collect all net profit income taxes for all businesses in the state through a centralized collection process,” Kline explained.

Municipalities that don’t pass this legislation could “risk losing the ability to have an income tax altogether,” he added.

“Just another way of grabbing some local tax dollars to go into state coffers,” Kline said.

He said that several Ohio municipalities believe the state legislature is overstepping its authority and may file a class action lawsuit over the proposed legislation in the next month.

The new law does not allow municipalities to check returns filed for any irregularities, Kline said. He added that the state would keep between .5 percent and 1 percent of everything collected.

Kline said he and Law Director Lenee Brosh discussed the legislation and advised tabling the legislation to allow bigger cities to “fight it out” in the court system.

Depending on the outcome, council could more easily make changes to the legislation, if any, if it has not yet been approved. Kline said the legislation does not need to be approved until January 2018.

“In my opinion, it probably doesn’t really have much of an effect on a small town like West Milton. It has a huge effect on Dublin, Mason, Cincinnati, Troy, Columbus, Cleveland, etc.,” he said. “It’s ready to go. Let’s just hold off until we know exactly what the legislation needs to say.”

At their November meeting, council will introduce legislation prohibiting the parking of motor vehicles on lawns.

The proposed ordinance would forbid parking on any non-driveway portion of the yard of any lot that is zoned residential and require motorized vehicles to be parked or kept only on a hard surface such as concrete or asphalt. It would also require all vehicles parked in a driveway to have current registration or license plates. This ordinance would not apply during times of emergency due to acts of nature or when a resident is moving in or out of the premises.

Public hearings to discuss the ordinance will be held on Nov. 14 and Dec. 12.

Kline also updated council on the Forest Avenue and the north water tower refurbishing projects.

Work on Forest Avenue started this week with clearing of trees and brush and should take three or four weeks to complete, with the exception of the paving of the new part of the road.

“There probably won’t be much disturbance of the current pavement, but there’s going to be an added five feet or more of pavement. That section, once the curb’s in, will be graveled and compacted, and we would like it to sit over the winter for better compaction,” Kline told council. It will be paved next year as part of the annual paving program.

Work on north water tower also started this week. The tower has been emptied and will be repainted and refurbished.

Kline noted that there is potential for some pressure fluctuations and asked residents for their patience. The project could take up to six weeks to complete.

By Cecilia Fox

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