Westerville News & Public Opinion

Income tax

Westerville not in favor of 'uniformity' bill


A bill in the Ohio House of Representatives, aimed at creating income-tax "uniformity" across the state's municipalities, would cost Westerville an estimated $300,000 to $500,000 in revenue each year, City Manager Dave Collinsworth said.

Because of that, Westerville City Council passed a resolution March 19 stating the city does not support H.B. 5.

The bill, sponsored by Reps. Cheryl Grossman (R-Grove City) and Mike Henne (R-Vandalia) is meant to simplify and standardize Ohio's municipal income taxes to make filing taxes easier for businesses that operate within different income-tax jurisdictions.

The bill is a less drastic version of one that died at the end of the last legislative session that would have had the state collecting municipal income taxes.

City officials have been working with state representatives on the goal of uniformity, but the current bill would hurt municipalities, Collinsworth said.

"(Uniformity), in and of itself, (is) a laudable goal. We believe that business-friendliness in the state of Ohio can be enhanced and improved," Collinsworth said. "We have evaluated House Bill 5, based on the current measures based within and found it to be detrimental to the city of Westerville.

"As it is contained in the current provisions of House Bill 5, we believe it is a detriment to all municipalities in the state of Ohio."

The bill would address income-tax uniformity, said City Council Chairman Mike Heyeck, but would leave municipalities with other problems.

"I think it was good for the Municipal League and Westerville staff to shape this to help it deal with the issues of uniformity," Heyeck said. "The issues that are left are not of uniformity."