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Government & Politics

A Bill State Lawmakers Are Considering Could Affect Tax Abatement Deals, Mayors Say

A photo Youngstown Mayor Jamal Tito Brown, Columbus Mayor Andy Ginther, and Findlay Mayor Christina Muryn sitting at a table in front of a presentation screen.
Ohio Mayors Alliance
From left, Youngstown Mayor Jamal Tito Brown, Columbus Mayor Andy Ginther, and Findlay Mayor Christina Muryn gather as part of the Ohio Mayors Alliance. Some mayors are concerned that a bill state lawmakers are reviewing could make Ohio cities less attractive to companies that might want to locate here.

Mayors of some Ohio cities say past and future tax abatements might be affected by a bill under consideration that would allow employees to receive refunds on income taxes if they work from home in a different city. 

When cities give companies tax breaks to establish their business there, they figure employees will be paying income taxes. A new Ohio House-passed bill would allow employees who work from home to get income tax refunds from those cities if they don’t live there. And Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther says the loss of that income could change tax abatement agreements. 

“We may be tying one of our hands behind our back as metro economies if cities are not able to collect income tax from people who work from companies located in those city limits," Ginther said.

Ginther and other mayors say this would make Ohio’s cities less attractive to new businesses that might decide to locate in other states. And it could lead to clawbacks in some existing tax abatement deals.

The bill has passed the Ohio House. It is now under consideration in the Ohio Senate.
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