Reynoldsburg City Council unanimously approved a resolution Feb. 27 to oppose a state plan to take control of the income-tax collection process for Ohio municipalities.

Reynoldsburg City Council unanimously approved a resolution Feb. 27 to oppose a state plan to take control of the income-tax collection process for Ohio municipalities.

City auditor Richard Harris introduced the resolution after receiving notice from state legislators that they were discussing the possibility, although no bill has yet been introduced. Harris said he proposed the opposition of any such legislation for a number of reasons.

He said the Regional Income Tax Agency (RITA) has handled Reynoldsburg income-tax collections since 1994. The rate RITA charges for the service is 2.25 percent, he said, while the rate the state would charge has yet to be determined.

Harris also questioned 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.

Council's action, along with similar moves by more than 200 other municipalities statewide, sends a message to state legislators, Harris said.

"What this is meant to do is let those members of the General Assembly know that the government of this city is not in favor of the state taking over our income tax collections," he said. "We've been collecting our income taxes and we don't think we need the state in here doing it."

Councilman Chris Long agreed and said Reynoldsburg has not shown any inability to do the job so far.

"What we're basically saying is we'll fight in order to make sure that we keep control, and we haven't shown an inability to do it ourselves," Long said. "And there are too many questions - that's the biggest reason we're passing a referendum against it."

Harris said the city is not sure how long it would take the state to send the income tax money to Reynoldsburg once it is collected.

"We 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, so why would we want to give them more?"

Council President Doug Joseph said he agrees with the approval by council on the matter, however, he thinks the issue will probably not turn into an actual bill anyway.

"It's a good idea in that it tells our elected representatives at the state level that Reynoldsburg, like the other municipal governments, (believes) this type of collection should be done locally," Joseph said. "Under home rule, and the idea that local municipalities should have as much autonomy as possible, I don't see a downside to adding Reynoldsburg to that list of communities that have indicated that at the state level.

"However, I do think that nothing will come of this at the state level," Joseph said. "There is no legislation on it and until you actually see something with a bill number on it, this kind of thing is nothing, frankly, to be concerned about."

Harris said now that the resolution has been approved by council, letters detailing the decision will be sent to state legislators.