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HB 5 Will Deepen Cuts to Local Governments, Erode Local Control, Rep. Letson Says

December 9, 2014
Democrat Newsroom

On Tuesday, State Rep. Tom Letson (D-Warren) criticized the Ohio House’s final concurrence on House Bill 5, legislation which makes drastic changes to the state’s municipal tax code. The legislation was approved despite broad opposition from local governments around the state.

“Our state has needed help to simplify the municipal tax code for decades and despite our long hours of deliberation on this legislation, HB 5 is not that change,” said Rep. Letson, ranking House Ways & Means Committee member. “This bill further deepens cuts to our local communities by depleting revenue our already-struggling local governments need. And, HB 5 erodes local control by requiring all municipalities adopt the same tax code, leaving no room for local governments to take into consideration the needs of their individual communities.”

It is estimated that HB 5 will cost local governments up to $82 million annually according to a report from think tank Innovation Ohio.

Since Governor Kasich took office, Local Government Funds have been cut by over $1 billion, forcing local governments to drastically cut services or raise local taxes. Coupled with these cuts, the elimination of the state’s estate tax and other reimbursement cuts, local governments could see nearly half-a billion dollar reduction in revenue annually.

The bill now head to Gov. Kasich’s office for his anticipated signature.