Rep. Russo opposes bill that would cut local revenues amid coronavirus pandemic
Rep. Allison Russo (D-Upper Arlington) voted in opposition Wednesday to House Bill (HB) 157, legislation that would prohibit the collection of income taxes from workers who aren’t physically in an office inside the city or village limits.
“House Bill 157 pulls the rug out from under Ohio’s cities and municipalities after they’ve carefully planned and assessed their budgets for this year in response to the needs of their communities and residents,” said Rep. Russo. “It’s one more example of a Republican-controlled House taking money away from our local governments and, ultimately, it will be our taxpayers paying the price as cities cut essential services and shift costs to compensate.”
The bill comes as many Ohio workers remain on work from home status amid the coronavirus pandemic. Opponents of the bill say the changes could undercut local government budgets, with some cities set to lose millions of dollars in revenue. Democrats said these shortfalls could threaten the ability for communities to fund emergency services and other essential programs.
Democratic lawmakers offered several amendments to the bill during House session Wednesday, including measures that would:
- Extend current temporary tax rules that charges taxes for people’s worksite location through 2022. Democrats said that cities could lose millions of dollars in revenue and threaten funding for emergency and essential services.
- Requires the Director of Public Safety to study and report on reductions in law enforcement personnel and other public safety services due to revenue losses resulting from the bill.
House Republicans rejected both amendments.
After clearing the House, HB 157 moves to the Senate for consideration.