“The past decade, cities and their residents have not fared well at the Statehouse. Republicans, in the majority except for a brief Democratic interlude in the House, have looked to narrow municipal authority along several fronts, from governing guns to oil drilling to traffic cameras. Lawmakers also have grabbed for money, rerouting revenues to state coffers, most notably, by slashing the Local Government Fund.
Now the legislature appears on the cusp of striking another blow through an update of municipal tax law, the Senate approving its version last week, returning the bill to the House. This effort has been in the works for two years, and it began with a noble intention. One thing that businesses find frustrating about Ohio are the many taxing jurisdictions. So it makes sense to bring greater simplicity and uniformity to the way municipalities tax businesses.
That was the welcome objective, and in many ways, lawmakers have advanced the cause. For instance, cities should have a consistent approach for treating net operating losses. It is smart to shrink the number of forms and otherwise streamline tax filing. Unfortunately, lawmakers appear determined to ensure that the final result will leave cities with less revenue…”
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