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Cities Consider Legal Challenges Over Controversial Budget Provision

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The new budget is just a month old, but several communities are said to be considering challenging it in court. They’re concerned about an option that is voluntary, but some say is unconstitutional.

The new budget allows businesses which have to file net profits taxes in all the municipalities they operate to file just once through the state’s Ohio Business Gateway, with a half percent fee attached. But Kent Scarrett with the Ohio Municipal League says even though it’s not required, several communities have questions about whether this amounts to the state administering municipal taxes.

“There’s been conversations if some of our members are going to challenge the state’s ability to do that through a lawsuit.”

Scarrett says the League can’t sue, but individual cities or villages could. The state said businesses and municipalities would save money if the process were centralized. But communities said they were concerned about the cost and constitutionality of a mandate from the state.