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Mandel, Pillich Differ on Municipal Income Tax Reform

The two rivals for state treasurer have staked out differing viewpoints on a controversial bill to overhaul Ohio’s municipal income tax.

Treasurer Josh Mandel and Representative Connie Pillich touched on the legislation, House Bill 5, during speeches Thursday at the Ohio Municipal League’s annual conference in Columbus.

The bill would create a uniform municipal income tax across the state. Business groups say the current system forces some businesses to file dozens of tax forms every year. Municipal officials call the proposal an unfunded mandate that strips away local control.

Rep. Pillich spent most of her speech laying into the bill, while Mandel, who supports the measure, limited his morning remarks to expressing hope that an agreement will soon be reached on the measure.

Pillich said HB 5 is a “one-size-fits-all approach” that would place more stress on municipalities already reeling from state cuts to local government funding. “It’s not appropriate for the state to cut, cut, cut funding for local governments, add more unfunded mandates, and then tell you how to run your business,” she said.

The Cincinnati Democrat said there are steps that can be taken to streamline municipal income tax filings, such as making definitions more alike. She touted a bill she co-sponsored that would require the state to give local governments any surplus revenue for public services when the state unemployment rate exceeds 6%.

Mandel said in an emailed statement that he’s “a strong supporter of House Bill 5,” because it would simplify Ohio’s tax system.

Mandel didn’t express an opinion on the bill during his speech. He said he’s “got friends on both sides of the debate.”

Via Cleveland.com.



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