Reynoldsburg City Council will take action on a resolution Feb. 27 opposing a state plan to take control of cities' income tax collection process.
Reynoldsburg City Council will take action on a resolution Feb. 27 opposing a state plan to take control of cities' income-tax collection process.
City Auditor Richard Harris said the state wants a centralized income-tax collection process. He said the Regional Income Tax Agency (RITA) has handled Reynoldsburg income-tax collections since 1994.
Legislation has not been introduced yet to centralize income-tax collections for municipalities, although it has been discussed. Harris said he is proposing council oppose any such legislation for a number of reasons.
He said the rate RITA charges for the service is 2.25 percent, while the rate the state would charge has yet to be determined.
Harris also questions whether the state would do the job more efficiently, saying municipalities are more aggressive at collecting their own income taxes and the state could slow down that process.
"We're not sure how long it would take the state to get it to us, and don't feel they're as good at collections as we currently are," he said. "They already collect school districts' income tax, and we don't see they're doing anything good with that É why would we want to give them more?"
Harris said the state could end up charging more than RITA does.
"What we've seen with the other things they've gotten involved with is, it has not been done as well as it's currently being done; therefore, we don't see any reason to change it," he said. "They don't say what the rate is. They say they can do it cheaper. Well, how much cheaper? We don't know."
Harris said more than 200 municipalities statewide have already adopted resolutions opposing the state's proposal for centralized income tax collections.
That list includes Gahanna, Whitehall, Westerville and Upper Arlington in central Ohio.
If the resolution is approved by council, Harris said members intend to send a letter of opposition to state legislators.
"We're interested in the state legislators getting as many of these as they can before an actual bill is written, because once one is written, it's harder to change," he said. "You can affect it more if you can get it to them prior to a bill being introduced."
He said some of the state's largest cities oppose the idea.
"Columbus is one of the ones looking at this and they'll probably be on board, too," he said. "Cleveland is already on, but when you start getting the Columbuses and Cincinnatis telling them that, that's a lot of voters."