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Rep. Smith opposes bill that would cut local revenues amid coronavirus pandemic

Modified income tax rule would threaten funds for public safety and essential services
May 27, 2021
Monique Smith News

Rep. Monique Smith (D-Fairview Park) 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 197 will damage our local governments, upend their budgets, and put local services like police and fire at risk of cuts due to a sudden loss of revenue. I have heard from Republicans and Democrats, people from large cities and small towns, and they all shared the same concerns about this bill. Now is not the time to jeopardize the funding of our local communities as they work to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Rep. Smith.

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.