Commission to vote on resolution opposing state budget

By Sam Wildow -

PIQUA — The city of Piqua will be considering strong words in disagreement with Gov. John Kasich’s proposed 2018-19 budget.

During their next meeting Tuesday evening, the Piqua City Commission will be considering issuing a resolution “strongly opposing” Kasich’s proposed state budget due to “disastrous provisions” that the city noted as being “detrimental” to local governments.

The budget would institute a state-operated program for the centralized collection of Ohio municipal income taxes. The state would then charge each municipality 1 percent of whatever is filed as part of the state collecting the local income taxes.

The city’s resolution calls this a “clear attack on the home rule powers granted to municipal corporations such as the city of Piqua by the Ohio Constitution.”

The resolution goes on to explain that the proposed budget would also eliminate a portion of the sales factor, referred to as “throwback,” which the city says will “substantially” reduce reportable tax revenue to municipalities with warehouses, distribution centers, and any business providing online sales.

The resolution also claims that this provision was created to benefit “specific taxpayer interests” by taking away local control of municipal income taxes.

The resolution states that the city of Piqua “strenuously objects to this latest attack on municipal home rule.” The city is also urging other municipal corporations to make their objection known to the governor and the General Assembly and “that this proposed usurpation of constitutionally granted local municipal power shall not take place without a vigorous legal challenge by affected municipal corporations.”

The resolution goes on to say that this proposed budget would jeopardize the essential services that the city provides. It states it would impede the city’s ability to audit and correct municipal income tax business returns and to enforce municipal income tax laws.

The city notes how they believe this to be continuing the state’s reduction of local government revenues, as it follows the elimination of estate taxes, the repeal of the Tangible Personal Property Tax, severe decreases in Local Government Fund allocations, and the passage of House Bill 5, which the city estimates cost Piqua over $1 million in income tax revenues annually.

The resolution urges state legislators to reject these provisions.

Also on the agenda, the commission will be considering purchasing the Roosevelt Field House and property adjacent to it from the Piqua City School District.

Roosevelt Field House, located at 401 E. Ash St., was identified as a redevelopment opportunity by the Historic East Piqua Community Center Campus Plan, which was recently completed as part of a feasibility study done by the city, the school district, Edison State Community College, the Ohio National Guard, and the Miami County YMCA. According to the staff report, purchasing the Roosevelt Field House will advance the redevelopment goal for this property.

The purchase is still contingent upon approval from the Piqua Board of Education. The cost of the purchase is not to exceed $280,000. That money will not be long gone, though.

If approved, the commission will also be voting on selling the Roosevelt Field House and adjacent property to the Piqua Improvement Corporation, a nonprofit, for that same cost of $280,000. According to the resolution, the Piqua Improvement Corporation would maintain the land and use it to support future economic development of the campus plan.

The commission will also be considering selling another property adjacent to those to the Piqua Improvement Corporation at a cost of $2,400.

Unrelated to that site, the commission will also be voting on accepting land donated to the city for the expansion and improvements of the Wastewater Treatment Plant. The donated land will be 8.7 acres located to the east of the plant, which will be where the liquid treatment systems will be constructed.

The commission will also be considering an ordinance to impose a “modest fee increase” at Echo Hills Golf Course, according to the staff report. Examples of the minor increases include charging $15 instead of the current rate of $14 for playing nine holes of golf on a weekday and other fees that increase by $1. The larger increases include charging $230 for a coupon of 11 rounds of golf to be used on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays, instead of the current rate of $210. These increases are to help generate more revenue.

The city is requesting that the commission waive the three-reading rule and vote on the ordinance during their meeting Tuesday evening in order to make the rules effective by the opening of the season on March 1.

The commission will also be considering more purchases, along with making numerous appointments to city boards during their meeting.

The commission’s next meeting will take place Tuesday evening at 7:30 p.m. It will be held in commission chambers on the second floor of the municipal building, located at 201 W. Water St.

By Sam Wildow

Reach Sam Wildow at or (937) 451-3336

Reach Sam Wildow at or (937) 451-3336