New Albany has joined several other Ohio cities that plan legal action to challenge portions of House Bill 49, Gov. John Kasich's two-year budget.

Chief among the cities' opposition to the bill is a provision that would make it possible for business owners to file net-profit income-tax returns with the Ohio Department of Taxation instead of the municipality in which their business operates.

Some cities' leaders say the HB 49 provision would constitute an erosion of home rule in addition to a loss of revenue, but state leaders say they see it as an option to streamline the tax-filing process for business owners.

New Albany City Council voted 6-0 on Oct. 17 to approve a resolution to join in litigation with other central Ohio municipalities. Mayor Sloan Spalding said he abstained because he is employed with the Ohio Attorney General's Office.

According to the legislative report for the Oct. 17 meeting, Frost Brown Todd LLC will serve as special counsel.

The proposed estimate cost for legal fees could cost New Albany as much as $4,000.

In other matters, council voted to extend the city's moratorium on medical marijuana through Dec. 31 to give the city administration adequate time to review new rules the state established last month.

For an in-depth look at the challenge to HB 49, check out ThisWeek's Oct. 19 story at