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Economy

Ohio Lawmaker Wants Voter Approval for County Sales Tax Increases

Niraj Antani
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU
While State Rep. Niraj Antani says he is against all tax increases, he wants voters to have a voice in county decisions.

A Republican state lawmaker who backed a failed attempt to overturn a county tax levy wants to make it tougher for counties to raise taxes.

Opponents of a sales tax increase on Montgomery County tried and failed to take a repeal to the ballot. So Rep. Niraj Antani said he’s proposing a bill requiring county commissioners get voter approval to raise taxes in the first place.

He said he's against all tax increases, and the measure is about "empowering people" to exercise their will.

"I could have sponsored a bill that would have disallowed any more tax increases, but I thought the fair and responsible thing was to at least say that the people should have a voice in whether a tax is raised or not,” he said.

Counties say they’re capped on how much they can hike taxes, but they need the ability to raise taxes to fund mandated services, especially after losing state revenue in recent years.