(St. Bernard, OH) -- A collection of municipal leaders from across Hamilton County are speaking out against a proposed change to local tax collection laws, under consideration in the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus.
The Municipal Income Tax Uniformity Bill, HB5, would establish a state board that would set local earnings tax rates, and could tell cities when they could collect that revenue.
Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory and mayors and city council members from across Hamilton County say HB5 would be an infringement on the rights of communities.
The Mayor of Blue Ash says Ohioans should be worried. Mayor Mark Weber says it would take the power to set local income tax rates away from communities and give it to a state-run board. He says there are things that are done well at the state level, but efficient, responsive government is not one of them. Weber says it would emasculate local governments.
Madeira's City Manager says they don't have a problem with uniformity. But Tom Moeller says HB5 could hurt communities' tax revenues, and reduce the services those communities deliver. He says there is an alternative on the table that would provide uniformity, but wouldn't damage city budgets.
Montgomery Mayor Ken Suer says the proposal goes too far. He says tax collection authority needs to be kept at the local level, to provide adequate city services.