I hope you are not being blind sighted by the state government officials telling you they want to simplify the tax structure of Ohio. What they are calling a Centralized Collection of Municipal Income Tax may sound like a good idea, but let us look at what it would end up costing you (the taxpayer).
The taxpayer pays the same amount in taxes but what they are not telling the taxpayer is that the municipalities will receive much less. As an example, look at what the state did with our libraries? The taxpayer paid the same amount of taxes but the libraries received less revenue. Now, if you want your libraries, you are paying more (through special tax levies, etc.). This is a prime example as to what will happen to our municipalities. The state will take control of the municipalities tax revenue and the municipalities would receive less. Then, if you want services (police, fire, streets, pools, etc.), the taxpayer will have to pay extra for them.
Below is a copy of my letter sent to the Ohio Tax Commissioner Joseph Testa, which represents our continual efforts to prevent the state from taking even more control of our revenue. Perhaps you as the taxpayer should consider joining us in this fight?
“Judy’s on duty”
Commissioner Joseph W. Testa
Office of the Tax Commissioner
30 East Broad St. 22nd Floor
Columbus, Ohio 43215
Dear Commissioner Testa,
I have received your response in reference to our Resolution No. 2011-31 opposing centralized collection of municipal income tax. I am also aware of several letters from different municipalities responding to your letter much like we have received. The fear is in place for all of our municipalities if people such as you succeed in enacting centralized collection of municipal income taxes.
I agree with Mayor Evans from the City of Perrysburg and many others who have responded. If the state enacted centralized collection of municipal income taxes, you will have succeeded in financially decimating many municipalities such as our Village of Arcanum. The fact that businesses currently have the ability to file their taxes electronically from anywhere through the Ohio Business Gateway does not hold water with your explanation “employers would have one place to file…”
According to the Ohio Business Development Coalition, CNBC ranks Ohio fifth in the nation for attracting businesses. It appears the excuse that our “complexity of municipal tax in Ohio” is losing businesses is not accurate. So what other explanation can it be for wanting control of our revenue? What I am hearing (and I find it hard to believe) is that the reason the state is getting involved is because CPA firms are complaining it would make their job a lot easier.
Do you think it would be easier to understand if we look at this in a different perspective? Perhaps we should take this centralized collection one step further and let the federal government take over the whole tax filing system. Think of this type of “total uniformity under one umbrella” where employers would only have to file one place. Just think how much easier this would be for the CPA firms and payroll processing companies, etc. I am sure IRS would be more than happy to do this for the businesses and have everything under one “Taxation Umbrella.”
By taking this one step further, the federal government would even have a better control of the state boundaries and I am sure they would have a “robust system in place for conducting audits, collecting delinquencies and distributing revenue to the states.” I am also sure the IRS would only charge a low administrative cost to the states for all their services. Looking at this scenario (which I am totally against), I believe the state would have a better perspective of how our smaller governments are feeling. The state has no business taking yet more control of our revenue, which affects our daily cash flow and detrimental services that we provide in our community, etc.
So I ask you, Commissioner Testa, would you want the IRS to have control of your revenue?
Judith Foureman is the mayor of the Village of Arcanum. Viewpoints expressed in these opinion pieces are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.