New tax state, federal codes hurt Struthers budget, official says


Staff report

STRUTHERS

Tax Commissioner James Bertrando is preparing for a rough 2020.

Recent changes to the state and federal tax codes have Bertrando concerned that, barring preparatory measures, the city may have to cut funding to some services next year.

Struthers is one of 160 cities signed onto a lawsuit in the 10th District Court of Appeals – City of Athens v. Joseph A. Testa – suing the state tax commissioner over House Bill 49, which went into effect in June 2017.

The lawsuit claims amendments to the Ohio Revised Code found within HB 49 are in violation of the Municipal Home Rule Amendment in the Ohio Constitution.

Specifically, the cities contend the changes interfere with the municipalities’ authority to “administer, collect, audit and receive net profit taxes,” which limits their local sovereignty.

HB 49 restructures tax collection so that business can opt in to pay their net-profit income taxes directly to the state, rather than the individual municipalities in which they operate. The state then makes monthly tax-collection disbursements, keeping a 0.5 percent administration fee.

Bertrando says the administrative fees alone may cost the city upward of $30,000 this year.

Read the full story Monday in The Vindicator and on Vindy.com.

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