Commission to consider litigation against state

City challenging income tax collection

By Sam Wildow -

PIQUA — The Piqua City Commission will considering joining litigation against the state to challenge changes to the collection of income taxes from businesses.

The litigation would challenge Substitute House Bill 49, including the state’s centralized income tax collection for businesses through the Ohio Business Gateway in an effort to maintain localized income tax collection.

The resolution that would authorize the litigation claims, “House Bill 49 adopts a state income tax collection system and eliminates the local government to maintain control over local tax collection producing unreliability in its collections.”

The commission has previously approved a resolution stating their opposition to provisions in HB 49 that centralize income tax collection. That resolution opposed a mandate that would require businesses to file their net profit return through the Ohio Business Gateway.

The city and other municipalities are arguing that centralizing income taxes in Substitute HB 49 is “unconstitutional,” claiming it “violates home rule authority,” according to the resolution.

Approximately 140 municipalities are participating in this joint litigation. The city’s share of the retainer of Frost Brown Todd, LLC would be $4,000 to join the litigation. The retainer is based upon the percentage of population.

Proponents of centralizing income tax collection for businesses through the Ohio Business Gateway argue that the proposed process makes it easier on businesses that are required to file tax returns in every city where they earn income.

In a letter to the editor in March, Ohio Tax Commissioner Joe Testa, of Columbus, suggested that some businesses report paying more in fees to file tax returns in all of the municipalities where they earn income versus the total amount of taxes they owe.

Testa called the proposal “pro-business,” explaining that centralizing the income tax collection process for businesses would allow the businesses to file one form in one place with one set of rules.

Testa claimed that the “Department of Taxation would process the tax and send all payments quarterly — plus interest — back to the respective city or village, minus a 1 percent administration fee.”

In other news:

Also on the agenda, the commission will hear the first reading of an ordinance to make appropriations for the city for 2018. The appropriations would be $148,048,771, including transfers.

The commission will also hear the first reading of ordinances that update the city’s health insurance for its employees, adopt a new schedule of wages for city employees to give them a 2 percent wage increase, and adopt a new schedule of wages for part-time, seasonal, and temporary employees to reflect changes in state minimum wage requirements.

The commission will also vote on a change order and amending the contract with Milcon Concrete Inc. for the construction of the Shawnee Neighborhood Storm Sewer project. The additional costs include approximately $15,763 to move a private sanitary lateral on Second Street that was in conflict with the alignment of the proposed storm sewer and $40,267 for the backfill material of the levee change order. The contract amount in addition to these additional costs would come to approximately $433,539.

Later in the meeting, the commission will be considering leasing a building located at 8620 N. County Road 25-A to house the Underground Utility Department at a cost of $37,200 per year for three years; a 10-year lease with Piqua City Schools for use of Hardman Field; and allowing the city manager to find tenants and lease a residence located at Hollow Park.

The commission will also be voting on a zoning map change and appointing members to the Park Board.

The city will also declare Austin Cox Day in the city, express appreciation for the city of Piqua’s first responders, and recognize Government Academy graduates.

City challenging income tax collection

By Sam Wildow

Reach Sam Wildow at or (937) 451-3336

Reach Sam Wildow at or (937) 451-3336