Despite the fact that the Ohio General Assembly appears ready to eliminate the state's estate tax, Bexley City Council members made one final appeal during their June 14 meeting.

Despite the fact that the Ohio General Assembly appears ready to eliminate the state's estate tax, Bexley City Council members made one final appeal during their June 14 meeting.

Finance and judiciary committee chairman Ben Kessler introduced a resolution that was unanimously adopted asking state legislators to reconsider the action, which is scheduled to take effect Jan. 1, 2013.

Kessler said he would personally present the resolution in opposition to the state of Ohio's proposed elimination of the Ohio estate tax without alternative funding solutions to state Rep. Kevin Bacon on June 17. A final vote on the issue is anticipated this week.

Among the reasons for the appeal cited in the resolution are:

The city of Bexley receives more than 15 percent of its annual income from the Ohio Estate Tax.

The state of Ohio is concurrently making drastic cuts to local government funds, which, in conjunction with the loss of the estate tax would reduce revenue to the city of Bexley by more than 25 percent, a percentage that vastly exceeds the shortfall being experienced by the state of Ohio.

The Bexley community is already struggling to recover from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.

Even prior to the cuts, Bexley operates with one of the lower general fund budgets, per capita, in central Ohio.

State of Ohio policy changes that result in a loss of income of this magnitude force the city of Bexley to severely cut back on essential city services and/or raise taxes, and are therefore no different than the state of Ohio instituting a tax increase at the local level.

State lawmakers are in the process of instituting these extraordinary cuts without providing localities with any meaningful tools to deal with the shortfalls short of cutting services or instituting a tax increase.

The resolution states city council's opposition to the elimination of the Ohio estate tax while no meaningful alternative tools are being provided to assist municipalities in dealing with the income shortfalls that will result from the loss of this revenue.

It also urges state lawmakers to adopt one or more of the following actions:

Maintain the Ohio estate tax as it is currently.

Adjust the Ohio estate tax threshold so will have less of an impact smaller estates while still providing benefit to communities who rely in part on this revenue source.

Provide local municipalities that benefit from the estate tax and that also have smaller commercial property bases and therefore a lower capacity to fund their budgets via payroll taxes, with alternative tools and/or revenue equalization measures to compensate for the loss of this revenue source.