Worthington intends to join other central Ohio communities tossing a life raft to the death tax.

Worthington intends to join other central Ohio communities tossing a life raft to the death tax.

At the urging of Worthington City Council, city manager Matt Greeson plans to reach out to a coalition of local governments fighting to save the estate tax, which provides Worthington a fluctuating amount of revenue.

In 2010, Worthington's estate tax revenue was $383,545, but that was the lowest it had been since 2002. In 2005, the city received $972,263 from taxes levied on the estates of residents who died that year.

But combine the loss of estate tax with the projected loss of state's local government funds next year and Worthington is expected to lose approximately $1.1-million.Worthington's 2010 general fund budget was $22.4-million.

Services will have to be cut to make up that size of loss, Greeson said.

The actual reduction in the local government fund will not be known until Gov. John Kasich announces his biennial budget in March. After that, it could still be changed until it is voted on next summer.

"We will have to monitor it closely," Greeson said.

Council member Scott Myers said he will draft a letter from council objecting to House Bill 3, which would eliminate the estate tax throughout Ohio. Council will consider the letter at its next meeting.

"We don't count on the estate tax like an (Upper) Arlington or a Bexley, but it is certainly a revenue stream," Myers said at the Jan. 18 council meeting.

Eliminating the estate tax the same year as the governor plans to make dramatic cuts to the local government fund is just bad timing, he said.

"I'm not sure the legislature recognizes this is a double whammy," he said.

HB 3, sponsored by Rep. Cheryl Grossman and Rep. Jay Hottinger, is designed to keep people, businesses and jobs from leaving Ohio for any of the 30 states that do not have estate or inheritance taxes.

Worthington council president Lou Goorey agreed that the timing is bad, but said he knows people who have moved to Florida to escape the estate tax.

"I don't agree you go to Florida to avoid the estate tax; they go because it is warm," Myers said.