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Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

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Oregon City Council on Monday will vote on an ordinance that makes its municipal tax code more consistent with House Bill 5, which was passed last year by the Ohio Legislature.

House Bill 5 streamlines Ohio’s municipal tax code. Businesses backed the measure, saying it creates a more business friendly environment. Many local governments were opposed because they said it would add unnecessary administrative burdens on businesses and their employees who conduct business activities in municipalities.

Ohio was the only state where municipalities set their own rules and regulations on collection of income taxes. Several different communities use different forms to collect annual income taxes.

But Oregon was particularly concerned because the bill could have cost the city up to $1 million in annual revenue due to a provision that increases from 12 to 20 the number of days an individual can work in a municipality without owing local income taxes. It would have particularly affected temporary contract workers at the refineries. An amendment keeps the withholding requirement at 12 days and allows for a look back to day one if 12 days are exceeded.

City Administrator Mike Beazley spent considerable time in Columbus meeting with legislators to try and find a resolution. He was able to negotiate an amendment that shields Oregon from what would have had a negative impact on its financial resources.

“Legislators understood that Oregon was in a unique position because of those two unique refineries,” said Beazley.

Councilman James Seaman praised Bealzey’s efforts to protect Oregon from the financially damaging provision in House Bill 5.

“I think Mr. Beazley is being quite modest. He put forth a tremendous effort. We would have lost payroll income tax. Now we will not lose it. You did a great job,” he said.

Beazley said he worked with local legislators Mike Sheehy and Randy Gardner to get the amendment in the bill.

“They were real good allies for us. The senate president and Ways and Means chair were all good partners,” said Beazley.

The ordinance that council will vote on Monday will basically make the municipal tax code consistent with Senate Bill 5.

“We have to have our tax code amended to be consistent with that code by January 1,” said Beazley. “We have to be consistent with the Ohio Revised Code or we lose our ability to collect our income tax. Almost all of us were unhappy to see this law come forward. I do want to emphasize that our taxpayers and our businesses that do withholding are better served by driving us toward more uniformity. The need was real and the fairness to the taxpayers and businesses were real. For the vast majority of our taxpayers, they will see no change of any kind here. Most of these changes are circulated around a narrow band of taxpayers.”

Most of the other changes are minor, he added.

“For most of our taxpayers, they won’t notice any difference,” he said.

 

abortion

The Ohio legislature has passed a bill that would ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected. In practice, that would make abortion illegal after six weeks.
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