Bexley and other municipalities around the state could be affected by pending legislation that is designed to streamline Ohio's complex system of municipal income taxes, District 18 state Rep. Michael Stinziano (D-Columbus) said during a Nov. 7 town hall meeting at the Bexley Public Library.
House Bill 5 cleared the House Ways and Means Committee last week after months of public hearings. The bill would enable Ohio companies to carry forward net operating losses for five years in order to offset taxes on future profits. The provision wouldn't take effect until 2017, and for the following five years, businesses could deduct only 50 percent of their loss.
Stinziano said he has heard from city leaders, including Columbus Mayor Michael B. Coleman, that the bill could cause municipalities' revenue to decline at a time when state funding already has been reduced.
While leaders of municipalities have expressed concerns over the legislation, leaders of some companies have said the bill could make it easier to do business in Ohio. It's a conundrum for legislators who will vote on the bill this fall, Stinziano said.
"It will be an interesting vote, not only for myself but for other Franklin County delegation members," he said. "Normally in Columbus, in particular, all of these (constituents) battle in the same direction, and we're not there right now. We've got hopefully still enough time to address the concerns."
Bexley Park resident Betty Ann Wernet said she's concerned about the impact HB 5 could have on the city of Bexley's ability to generate revenue.
"It's an unknown, but it can affect a lot of people," she said.
As part of the town hall meeting, Stinziano briefed about 10 residents who gathered in the library's auditorium about pending legislation that could affect election-law reform, abortion, gun ownership and concealed-carry laws. All of these issues are on the Ohio General Assembly's fall agenda.
Wernet said she regularly attends coffee meetings that Stinziano holds around Franklin County in the district he represents and she found the town hall meeting informative.
"Any representative should meet with their constituency, and he does that," she said. "He is responsive and I appreciate that."