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Akron, Ohio

City of Akron Challenges State Takeover of Local Tax Collection

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Ohio municipalities assert that state laws violate local Home Rule authority

City of Akron Press Release
From the desk of Ellen Lander Nischt, Press Secretary
Published: 11-22-2017

Akron, Ohio, November 22, 2017The City of Akron has joined a consortium of more than 100 municipalities in Ohio to challenge state laws that restrict the authority of local governments to administer and collect income taxes, in violation of Home Rule.

Provisions of Ohio House Bill 49 (H.B. 49), the state’s two-year budget bill, would allow the Ohio Department of Taxation to take over the collection of certain municipal income taxes, depriving municipalities of oversight of their tax collections and confiscating fees from local communities.  Similarly, Ohio House Bill 5 (H.B. 5), passed in 2014, requires municipalities to adopt a uniform income tax code established by the state, or risk losing their income tax authority altogether.

“Communities, like Akron, depend on income tax collections to support essential services that directly impact families and neighborhoods every day,” Mayor Dan Horrigan said. “Akron residents understand this, as they just voted overwhelmingly to support an additional ¼% income tax to support police and fire protection and street improvements in our city.  However, in addition to cutting the local government fund that has been vital to cities, the state is now attempting to grab more of the revenue municipalities rely on to meet local needs.”

Through a court action filed on behalf of the municipal coalition by Frost Brown Todd LLC, the City of Akron is asking the court to declare that these laws violate the Ohio Constitution, and that State officials cannot enforce them.  The lawsuit seeks an injunction to stop state officials from enforcing or executing the municipal income tax provisions in H.B. 49.

“The Ohio Constitution grants cities the power of local self-government, and the state’s attempted takeover of tax collection violates those long-established principles and hurts local communities,” Mayor Dan Horrigan continued. “The State doesn’t need more of our money or more control over the way cities govern.”

A copy of the complaint is available here.  For more information, contact Ellen Lander Nischt, Press Secretary / Assistant Director of Law at [email protected].

For further information, contact:
Ellen Lander Nischt
Press Secretary / Assistant Director of Law
166 South High Street
Suite 200
Phone: (330) 375-2325
E-mail: [email protected]

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