DELAWARE – State Sen. Kris Jordan, R-Ostrander, has introduced legislation that would prevent municipalities from levying an income tax on non-residents.
Ohio law currently allows cities and villages to levy income taxes on people who work but do not live in their jurisdictions. Under Jordan’s “Pay Where You Vote” legislation, that practice would be barred.
“By requiring Ohioans to pay income taxes to two municipalities when they can only vote in one, our government perpetuates a system of double taxation and taxation without representation,” said Jordan. “This system violates the basic right to representation by asking people to pay taxes without a say in the rate or usage.”
Delaware City Council member Andy Brush disagrees, saying there are thousands of people who commute to the city every day for work and utilize services, such as roads.
“The big issue I would have with it, as a conservative, I favor limited government and lower taxes, but I think people that consume government services should pay for them,” he said.
Brush has his doubt the bill will become law, saying the Ohio Municipal League and other local government organizations will oppose the measure.
“I think that those tend to be pretty powerful lobbies,” said Brush.
If the bill were to become law, Brush said the city would be forced to reduce services or increase revenue elsewhere, likely through the elimination of a income tax credit provided to residents who work and pay income taxes in other municipalities.
“The city would probably have to do away with that because we would have to make up for that lost revenue somewhere else,” he said.
Brush said he is not opposed to changes to the municipal income tax system, but not the one proposed by Jordan.
“I don’t think this is the fix we need,” he said.
The bill has no co-sponsors and has not been assigned to a committee.
Dustin Ensinger can be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @EnsingerDG.