City council moves to challenge state-collected income tax, join joint dispatch service

By Billy Ludt


City council will join a coalition in a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of House Bill 49, and moved forward on the decision to enter a joint police dispatch service among several county communities.

Council on Wednesday passed an ordinance to have the city join a “coalition of municipalities” that plan to take a lawsuit to federal court to address municipal income taxes authority, specifically on a change that could allow residents to opt into having the state collect income taxes, rather than the city. House Bill 49, if passed, could take away a municipality’s authority to control income-tax collection, and income tax has played a vital role in Canfield’s budget, officials stressed.

“We have generally opposed the state taking away the authority of the city to collect taxes,” Councilman Chuck Tieche said.

If the city did not back the lawsuit, or if the lawsuit fails, it might not be able to collect income tax in 2018.

Council motioned to enter a memorandum of understanding for the city to use the services of the Communications System Infrastructure run by the Austintown-Boardman-Mahoning County Joint Communications district. It is a joint fire, police and emergency dispatch service system that serves those districts.

“The money we’re going to pay for the service is going to be far less than having to build our own system,” city police Chief Chuck Colucci said.

The city would pay a flat fee of $8,000 per year to use the joint dispatch and can cease use at no extra cost.

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