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Ohio News

Employees Who Sued Over Ohio Municipal Income Tax Collection Law Plan Appeal

A sign on I-670 approaching Columbus on March 29, 2020 reminds Ohioans of the "stay at home" order that was in effect. Thousands of Columnbus commuters normally used this freeway daily to get to their downtown offices.
A sign on I-670 approaching Columbus on March 29, 2020 reminds Ohioans of the "stay at home" order that was in effect. Thousands of Columnbus commuters normally used this freeway daily to get to their downtown offices.

Three employees of a conservative think tank in Ohio plan to appeal a decision by a Franklin County judge, dismissing their lawsuit over municipal income taxes paid during the pandemic.

The three employees of the Buckeye Institute, who don’t live in Columbus, sued over a law signed in March 2020 that required them to work from home but still pay municipal income taxes to Columbus.

Jay Carson represents them, and said the pandemic stay-at-home order in March 2020 pushed attention to a trend that had already begun.

“Regardless of what happens in this litigation, the you know, there are a number of employers who are saying, listen, working from home works for us. It works for our employees. We're going to keep doing that. So this is a problem that cities would have to face regardless," Carson said.

Cities have said municipal income taxes are needed for public safety and other key operations and losing that money would blow irreparable holes in their budgets.

And Carson said there's another thing to consider - the potential strain on the home communities of these workers.

“While employees have been staying home, they're using services from their home city where they live, yet still paying more taxes to the city where they don't live. So there's actually been a burden that's been placed on some of these suburban communities," Carson said.

But Carson said since working from home or remotely is more common than ever, lawmakers might want to consider if there’s a better way to fund cities.

Carson said similar lawsuits have been filed in Cuyahoga, Hamilton and Lucas counties, to challenge municipal income tax collections in Cleveland, Cincinnati and Toledo.

Copyright 2021 The Statehouse News Bureau