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 February 23, 2018.


Here are the top three things you need to know from this past week:

  • The state of Ohio spent 1.1% ($27.8 million) above estimates last month. The Office of Budget Management is reporting this is due to the timing of payments for public safety and education.

  • The Ohio Power Siting Board Committee has authorized two utility-scale solar farms; one in Green Township covering 1.100 acres and one in Roundhead and McDonald Townships, covering 1,115 acres.

  • The Ohio Development Services Agency has awarded $5.5 million in grants through the Ohio Housing Trust Fund to help low-income Ohioans complete health and safety repairs for their home, acquire down payment assistance, provide home-buying counseling and improve handicapped accessibility.

On Wednesday, Judge David Cain of the Franklin County Common Pleas Court sided with the state in the lawsuit challenging the net profits centralized collection provision included in the state operating budget bill, HB 49.

The ruling, which you can read HERE, means the provision allowing businesses to opt-in to file their net profit filings through the Ohio Business Gateway (OBG) will remain in place. Municipalities will need to amend their local tax ordinances in order to be compliant with this provision. We have provided a copy HERE  of a sample of legislation adopted permitting the state to administer the filings on their behalf. Cities and villages making the legislative change should work closely with their Law Directors or Solicitors to ensure the necessary changes are made completely.  

Judge Cain stated in his ruling that the General Assembly has the power to enact the collection provisions because "collections deal with the levying of taxes"; therefore, he says the Legislature has not violated Home Rule authority. He also maintained that the provision does not violate the single-subject rule as collections "have a logical and natural connection to the subject matter of HB 49, i.e. appropriations."

The municipalities involved in the lawsuit are working on an appeal, maintaining their belief in the merits of the challenge. Despite the ruling, it remains imperative that Ohio's municipal leaders continue to educate legislators, business owners and the public in general of the direction of the state government to centrally collect municipal revenue and the problems that will result from the loss of local control and local accountability of local dollars and the unacceptable growth of state government. The League will continue to report on the progress of the appeal.


In a rare legislative move, a bill that was previously voted out of the House Government Accountability and Oversight Committee was referred back to that committee to be amended, late last week. HB 410, which is sponsored by Rep. Seitz (R - Cincinnati) and Rep. Butler (R - Oakwood) would grant municipal and county courts original and exclusive jurisdiction over any civil action concerning a traffic law violation, specify that the court require an advance deposit for the filing of specified civil actions by the local authority bringing the civil action, and modify the reporting requirements and LGF withholding that apply to subdivisions that operate traffic law photo-monitoring devices. 

The League has submitted opponent testimony against this legislation, as we've detailed in previous bulletins, as this bill seeks to punish municipalities for exercising their constitutional Home Rule rights (as upheld by the Ohio Supreme Court) in issuing citations using traffic cameras. A copy of our testimony can be found HERE. The bill also mandates that civil traffic violations can no longer be heard in Mayor's Courts - only in municipal court - and makes the municipalities responsible for any and all court fees.

During committee this week, an amendment was adopted to clarify that while Mayor's Courts would still no longer be allowed to hear any civil action over a traffic law violation should the bill become law, all criminal hearings would still be allowed to take place within Mayor's Courts and common pleas courts can hear misdemeanor pleas if a felony is pleaded down to a misdemeanor. Rep. Seitz said that he had intended to add this amendment to the bill before it was reported out of committee. The bill was passed out of committee 8-4.

The bill could now head before the full House for consideration. It is important that municipal leaders call their representatives to alert them to this further infringement not only on Home Rule authority, but also on the jurisdiction of Mayor's Courts. We ask that our members contact their representatives and senators and express their opposition to this bill.


The following are the bills impacting municipalities that received committee hearings this past week:

  • HB 378 - BROADBAND GRANTS. Sponsored by Rep. Smith (R - Bidwell) and Rep. Cera (D - Bellaire), this bill would create the Ohio Broadband Development Grant Program and would make an appropriation. During its fourth hearing before the House Finance Committee, proponents testified as to how the bill could help stem the "brain drain" of a young, educated workforce leaving Ohio, as well as helping rural communities increase their economic development by allowing them to cross the "digital divide." The League is in favor of this bill.
  • HB 470 - PUBLIC LIGHTING TAX LEVIES. This bill, sponsored by Rep. Edwards (R - Nelsonville), would authorize a property tax levy specifically to fund lighting for roads and public places. During its third hearing before the House State and Local Government Committee, the bill was voted out of committee 10-2. The League is supportive of this bill.
  • HB 144 - WASTE COLLECTION VEHICLES. Sponsored by Rep. Green (R - Mt. Orab) and Rep. Rogers (D - Mentor-on-the-Lake), this bill would require motor vehicle operators to take certain actions upon approaching a stationary waste collection vehicle collecting refuse on a roadside. During its second hearing before the House Government Accountability and Oversight Committee, the bill was voted unanimously out of committee. The League is supportive of this bill.
  • SB 127 - WASTE COLLECTION VEHICLES. This is the companion bill to HB 144 and is sponsored by Sen. LaRose (R - Hudson). During its third hearing before the House Government Accountability and Oversight Committee, a technical amendment was adopted into the bill that does not change the overall content of the legislation. The League is supportive of this bill.
  • SB 239 - REGIONAL COUNCILS OF GOVERNMENT. Sponsored by Sen. Dolan (R - Chagrin Falls), this bill would modify the law concerning regional councils of governments. During its second hearing before the Senate Government Oversight and Reform Committee, a representative from the Auditor's office testified supporting the bill, saying it would help prevent future court cases involving COGs due to financial mismanagement by granting the Auditor's office notice of the creation of any COG. The League is supportive of this legislation.    

Tuesday, February 27, 2018
Tue., Feb. 27, 2018, 10:15 AM, North Hearing Room
Sen. Bacon: 614-466-8064
Governor's appointments:
- Mark Wasylyshyn, Michael Staley, Brian Simms and Jay Beighley to the Ohio Private Investigations and Security Services Commission.
DOGS LAW REVISIONS (BEAGLE B, LEHNER P) To revise provisions of the Dogs Law governing nuisance, dangerous, and vicious dogs, to revise enforcement of that Law, and to establish a notification process regarding complaints of certain violations of that Law. 
Third Hearing, All Testimony, AMENDMENTS
Tue., Feb. 27, 2018, 1:30 PM, Hearing Room 113
Rep. Young: 614-644-6074
OUTDOOR DINING-DOGS (LANESE L) To generally allow an owner, keeper, or harborer of a dog to take the dog in an outdoor dining area of a retail food establishment or food service operation. 
Sixth Hearing, All Testimony, POSSIBLE VOTE

Up Coming Meetings & Events

OML/OMAA Webinar
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March 22, 2018
10:00 am ~ 11:00 am

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Newly Elected Council Training Seminars
February 24, March 3 & 24
OCMA Winter Conference
ICMA Midwest Conference

March 7th ~ 9th, 2018
OMAA Spring Law Seminar
March 2, 2018

Ohio Municipal League

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