breaking news

LOCAL IMPACT: Government shutdown threatens 100th birthday party for Springfield veteran

Springfield opposes ‘state takeover’ of tax collection, could cost $60K

Businesses say the proposal could save them money and time filing taxes in multiple cities across Ohio.

The city of Springfield is opposing Gov. John Kasich’s plan to streamline municipal taxes for Ohio businesses, which could cost the city about $60,000 annually if approved.

Springfield city commissioners voted 4-1 last week in favor of a resolution opposing the proposal, which would allow businesses to file net profit taxes through the state, rather than local cities.

READ MORE: Springfield residents to ask city leaders about finances, tax increase

As part of the state’s budget proposal, the Ohio Business Gateway — a state-run website uses by businesses to access services and submit payments to certain state agencies — would collect municipal business taxes and then disperse it to municipalities.

The National Federation of Independent Businesses is backing the proposal, Ohio Legislative Director Chris Ferusso said. Centralized tax collection will cut back on the number of net profit filings businesses must make in different cities, he said. There are more than 600 cities and villages in Ohio, he said.

“We think it makes perfect sense,” Ferusso said. “It cuts down on compliance for our members, particularly those who work in multiple jurisdictions.”

Ohio business taxpayers would save $800 million in compliance costs, Ferusso said, more than the $600 million currently collected by cities and villages.

“That’s indicative of a broken system,” Ferusso said.

RELATED: Ohio Auditor: Springfield under fiscal stress

But the city of Springfield’s resolution says the state takeover is an attack on Ohio cities’ home rule authority. The state will charge a 1 percent fee for municipalities, which would cost Springfield about $60,000 annually, it says.

“They’re just taking a slice of our money,” Springfield City Commissioner Karen Duncan said.

Ohio businesses currently file taxes in every municipality where they earn income, often filling out forms in multiple cities and villages.

Springfield’s Income Tax Department currently collects municipal taxes from businesses. More than 250 other municipalities use the Regional Income Tax Authority, or RITA, to collect their municipal business taxes.

The Ohio House Finance Committee is expected to hold a hearing on the budget bill today.

The resolution was originally defeated 3-2 last month with City Commissioners Joyce Chilton and Kevin O’Neill both rejecting it. However, at last week’s meeting, O’Neill asked Mayor Warren Copeland to reconsider the motion for the resolution.

“I thought it was something that it wasn’t and I know what it is now,” O’Neill said.

MORE COVERAGE: Addicts who overdose could face charges if they don’t ask for help

Chilton again rejected the resolution because the old way the service was performed isn’t working, she said. The centralized tax collection could bring more businesses to the city and state, she said.

“I’m strictly looking at the fact that this is still being discussed and I’m not for sure if it’s even going to be an issue at this point,” Chilton said. “I’m sticking with the (no vote) because we need more businesses to bring in more revenue.”

O’Neill disagreed.

“We don’t need to give Gov. Kasich another dime of our money at this juncture,” O’Neill said.

Springfield City Commissioner Dan Martin would believe differently about the issue if it created savings for either the city or residents, he said.

DETAILS: Former Clark County director says she was forced to resign

“I don’t see where it does either,” Martin said. “It just re-distributes funding that would normally come to the city to the state for doing the same service.”

The Ohio Municipal League believes local tax departments serve businesses better and more efficiently than the state, Executive Director Kent Scarrett told the House Finance Committee last week.

The Ohio Business Gateway also isn’t prepared to handle the amount of filings and redistribute more than the $600 million collected in municipal business tax revenues, he said.

“We have deep reservations that the system will be fully functional by Jan. 1,” Scarrett told lawmakers.


Springfield hopes to save money on $250M plan to stop sewer overflows

Clark County population continues to decline, reaches 50-year low

More development may be coming to busy Springfield shopping corridor

Four Springfield residents will vie for three commission seats

Historic downtown Springfield site may become year-round marketplace

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Politics

Crowded governor field puts Democratic race up for grabs
Crowded governor field puts Democratic race up for grabs

Nobody denies the Democratic field of candidates running for Ohio governor is crowded. But the whether that is a good thing for the party — and its fortunes in November — depends on how the five candidates behave, according to political experts and party officials. “I am not sure we can assume that a tight primary will damage a candidate...
Government shutdown: Will I still get my mail?
Government shutdown: Will I still get my mail?

Hundreds of thousands of federal employees could be barred from working if Congress can’t agree to a budget plan and avoid a shutdown. But the country’s more than 500,000 postal service workers won’t be among them.  Mail service will continue uninterrupted, even during a government shutdown.  That’s because the U...
Government shuts down, negotiations expected through weekend
Government shuts down, negotiations expected through weekend

The federal government shut down Saturday for the first time since 2013 late Friday, with a handful of Republicans and the vast majority of Democrats in the Senate opposing efforts to keep the federal government running for another month. By a vote of 50-48, Senate Republicans fell far short of the 60 votes needed to end floor debate and clear the...
Democrat Kucinich picks running mate in Ohio governor’s race
Democrat Kucinich picks running mate in Ohio governor’s race

Former U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich on Friday chose Akron City Councilwoman Tara Samples as his running mate in his bid for Ohio governor. Samples fills out the field of lieutenant governor candidates in the 2018 race to replace Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who is term limited. Kucinich, 71, on Wednesday announced his decision to run in the Democratic primary...
Losers appeal Ohio medical pot licensing decisions
Losers appeal Ohio medical pot licensing decisions

State officials are scrambling to hold more than 60 appeal hearings for companies that did not win medical marijuana cultivator licenses in Ohio. So far, 68 of the 161 rejected applicants have filed for a “119 hearing,” in which a hearing officer listens to the state and the business present their cases on why the licensing decision should...
More Stories