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June 21, 2019


OML UPDATE AT-A-GLANCE

 
Here are the top three things you need to know about this past week:
 
  • President Trump issued a disaster declaration for 10 Ohio counties after severe storms last month. Those counties can now seek federal aid through the Individual Assistance, Disaster Legal Services and Hazard Mitigation Grant programs.
  • Earlier this month, the House seated Rep. Gil Blair (D - Weathersfield) as the replacement for former Rep. Glenn Holmes. Rep. Blair represents Ohio's 63th House District.
  • Douglas Swearington, Jr., has been selected by House Republicans to replace Rep. Steve Arndt (R - Port Clinton) when he retires at the end of July. Mr. Swearington is an attorney from Huron.
 
 
 
OHIO SENATE PROPOSES BUDGET SUPPORTING MUNICIPAL PRIORITIES

 
On Wednesday evening, the Senate Finance Committee passed an omnibus amendment to Am. Sub. HB 166, completing their contributions to the proposed State Operating Budget. The League is grateful for all of the areas included in the Senate plan that will have a positive impact of cities and villages in Ohio and that shows a true recognition for the importance of the state and local partnership. Thursday afternoon, the Senate unanimously passed Am. Sub. HB 166, where later in the day the House refused to concur on the Senate's changes, sending the bill to Conference Committee. The conferees have been announced as Sen. Dolan (R - Chagrin Falls), Sen. Burke (R - Marysville), Sen. O'Brien (D - Cortland), Rep. Oelslager (R - North Canton), Rep. Butler (R - Dayton) and Rep. Cera (D - Bellaire).
 
This select group of lawmakers will parse through the changes that both the House and Senate have made over the past several months to determine what the final version of the bill will look like. Once the bill passes out of Conference Committee, it will be approved by both legislative chambers and sent to Governor DeWine for his signature. The Governor is constitutionally obligated to sign the budget bill by June 30th.
 
The most substantial changes in the Senate omnibus amendment involve issues associated with the new state centralized collection of municipal net profit tax revenue. The League is grateful that the Senate Finance Committee approved numerous amendments the League suggested on behalf of our members, which change the following:
 
  • allows a taxpayer to opt out of filing with the state within the first 24 months
  • requires the Tax Commissioner to conduct an audit referred by a municipality
  • requires the Tax Commissioner to notify and share records with a municipality when examining a taxpayer.
 
Other Senate changes include requiring the Tax Commissioner to notify a municipality when a taxpayer opts out of filing with the state and requiring the Dept. of Taxation to develop a web portal to securely exchange information with municipalities.
 
The Senate also added back into the budget bill two provisions the League had previously requested. One authorizes all municipalities to charge unpaid garbage fees as a lien against real property, altered by the Senate to require the fees be equal to or greater than $350. The other allows local governments to extend TIFS to an additional 30 years for large high-impact developments. The Senate also expanded the types of projects eligible for H2Ohio funds to include community water projects.
 
Among the significant changes included in the Senate substitute bill includes the increase in the Local Government Fund (LGF) distribution, the return of the supplemental LGF distribution to cities, the full funding for the MARCS program and many other important issues supporting Ohio's municipalities. Here are the other provisions supported by the League in addition to the issues mentioned previously:
 
  • Motion Picture Tax Credit. The Senate amended therefundable tax credit for motion picture production expenditures and live theatre productions.
 
  • Opportunity Zones. The Senate kept the House provision incentivizing investment in struggling communities via income tax credits for businesses that invest in Opportunity Zones.
 
  • Housing Trust Fund. The Senate increased to $32 the fee for the first two pages of a recorded document and split the revenue between the Housing Trust Fund and the County recorders.
 
  • Local Police Departments. The Senate allowed local police departments to apply for School Safety Training Grants of the local school district did not apply.
 
  • Ohio Business Gateway (OBG). The Senate kept the Governor's increase in OBG funding by 295.34%.
 
  • Local Government Audit Support. The Senate kept the House provision allocating $26 million over the biennium for local government audit support.
 
  • Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) Lab Testing. The Senate allocated $42 million over the biennium for BCI lab tests.
 
  • Public Safety Answering Points. The Senate deemed a public safety answering point compliant with minimum staffing standards when compliant with all other operational standard rules.
 
The League also thanks the Senate for removing the following provisions from Am. Sub. HB 166:
 
  • August Special Elections. (Originally HB 187). The Senate removed the provision prohibiting local tax levies from appearing on August special election ballots.
 
  • Property Tax Complaints. (Originally 75). The Senate removed the requirement that local governments pass individual resolutions for each property tax contest.
 
  • Residential Property Tax Abatement. (Originally HB 149). The Senate removed the exemption of unimproved land subdivided for residential development from increased property taxes for up to 5 years.
 
Finally, the League is requesting the restoration of these provisions to the final version of Am. Sub. HB 166:
 
  • Hotel Intermediaries: Sales and Lodging Taxes. The House required hotel intermediaries to collect and remit local lodging taxes.
 
  • Vexatious Litigators. The House required a vexatious litigator to obtain court permission before requesting public records.
 
The League sent a letter outlining these provisions to the members of the Conference Committee, which you can read in full HERE.
 
The League thanks the Senate for listening to and heeding many of the concerns of Ohio's cities and villages and for their hard work addressing those concerns in Am. Sub. HB 166. Many of these provisions will strengthen and grow Ohio's municipalities and as a result, will strengthen and grow the state's economy as a whole. We thank the Senate for their hard work on behalf of Ohio's municipalities and we look forward to continuing to rebuild this vital partnership.
 
 
 
 
OHIO MAYORS FEATURED IN THE NATIONAL LEAGUE OF CITIES 2019 STATE OF THE CITIES ADDRESS

 
Recently, the National League of Cities (NLC) released its 2019 State of the Cities report, which outlines the most pressing issues facing cities across the nation and shares best practices from the local leaders who are working to address these problems.
 
Featured in the final report is Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther, who provided a quote on the importance of developing the ability to power municipal operations through renewable energy. A second quote from Mayor Ginther spoke to Columbus relying on residents to review and recommend best practices for law enforcement.
 
Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley is another featured Oho mayor, speaking to Dayton's resiliency in the face of the ongoing opioid epidemic. Additionally, Kettering Mayor Don Patterson was interviewed on a project analyzing traffic patterns to improve a county road.
 
It is not surprising that so many Ohio mayors were sought out to talk about best practices and the methods by which their communities are addressing the most pressing issues facing cities across America. You can read the NLC report in full HERE.
 
 
 
 
DEPARTMENT OF TAXATION RELEASES FORM FOR TRAFFIC CAMERA REVENUE REPORTING


A recent change in the FY 2020-2021 Transportation Budget (House Bill 62 of the 133rd General Assembly) requires any local authority that operated or contracted with another party to operate traffic enforcement cameras during the preceding fiscal year to file a report with the Department of Taxation on or before July 31st of each year.
 
The annual report must include the following information for the prior fiscal year:
 
  • All civil fines collected for any violation of a local ordinance or resolution based on evidence from a traffic enforcement camera; and
 
  • Civil fines collected for any violation of a local ordinance or resolution that occurred within a school zone based on evidence from a traffic enforcement camera.
 
Please note, the reporting requirement only applies to local authorities that operated or contracted with another party to operate traffic enforcement cameras during the prior fiscal year. "Local authority" includes any municipal corporation, county, or township. See R.C. 5747.502(A)(1).
 
Local authorities required to file a report for FY 2019 must do so by July 31, 2019. Failure to provide the report in a timely manner will affect the local authority's eligibility for local government funds. See R.C. 5747.502(D). To assist local authorities in complying with this new requirement, the Department has created a report, which you can access HERE.
 
For additional information, please visit tax.ohio.gov or contact the Department at (614) 466-7150.
 
 
   
 
BILLS IMPACTING MUNICIPALITIES PASSED BY OHIO'S LEGISLATIVE CHAMBERS
 
Here is the bill passed by the House this week that will impact municipalities:
 
  • HB 7 - WATER FUND. Sponsored by Rep. Ghanbari (R - Perrysburg) and Rep. Patterson (D - Jefferson), would create the H2Ohio Trust Fund for the protection and preservation of Ohio's water quality, create the H2Ohio Advisory Council to disburse money from the Fund for water quality programs, and create the H2Ohio Endowment Board to make recommendations to the Treasurer of State regarding the issuance of securities to pay for costs related to the purposes of the Fund. During its sixth hearing before the House Finance Committee, the bill was amended with a substitute bill that, among other changes, eliminated the creation of an H2Ohio Endowment Board and assigned those duties to the Ohio Water Development Authority and doubled the cap for the annual distribution of funds from $50 million to $100 million. The bill was then voted out of the House by a vote of 90 to 3. The League is supportive of this legislation.
 
  • HB 79 - IC BUDGET. Sponsored by Rep. Oelslager (R - Canton), would make appropriations for the Industrial Commission for the biennium beginning July 1, 2019, and ending June 30, 2021, and provide authorization and conditions for the operation of Commission programs. During its third hearing before the Senate Transportation, Commerce and Workforce Committee, the bill was unanimously reported out of committee and sent to the Senate floor, where it passed unanimously and will be sent to the Governor's desk for his signature. The League is neutral on this legislation.
 
 
 
 
NEW BILL OF MUNICIPAL IMPACT INTRODUCED

 
Here is a bill introduced this week that would impact municipalities:
 
  • HB 295 - ELECTRIC SCOOTERS (Hoops (R - Napoleon), would establish requirements governing low-speed electric scooters.
 
 
 
COMMITTEE RECAP: BILLS OF MUNICIPAL INTEREST
 
Here are the bills impacting municipalities that received committee hearings this week:
 
  • SB 52 - CYBER SECURITY. Sponsored by Sen. Gavarone (R - Bowling Green), would create the civilian cyber security reserve forces, make the Secretary of State a member of the Homeland Security Advisory Council, require the Secretary of State to appoint a chief information security officer, require the boards of elections to audit election results, and make an appropriation. Proponents testified in support of the bill during its second hearing before the House Finance Committee, including the League. You can read our testimony in full HERE. The bill also was altered with a technical amended before being voted out of committee during its third hearing.
 
  • HB 80 - BWC BUDGET. Sponsored by Rep. Oelslager (R - Canton), would make changes to the Workers' Compensation Law, to create a generally uniform definition of employee for specified labor laws, to prohibit misclassification under those laws, make appropriations for the Bureau of Workers' Compensation and Department of Public Safety for the biennium beginning July 1, 2019, and ending June 30, 2021, and provide authorization and conditions for the operation of the Bureau's programs. During its second hearing before the Senate Insurance and Financial Institutions Committee, proponents testified in support of a provision that would cover first responders diagnosed with PTSD without the currently-required work-related injury. During its third hearing, opponents and interested parties testified. Th League, along with the County Commissioners Association of Ohio and the Ohio Township Association, submitted a letter expressing concerns with the PTSD provisions and requesting its removal from the bill. You can read that letter in full HERE.
 
  • HB 202 - ELECTRIC VEHICLES. Sponsored by Rep. Smith (D - Euclid) and Rep. Weinstein (D - Hudson), would establish the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Study Committee. During its first hearing before the House Transportation and Public Safety Committee, the bill's sponsors argued the creation of a study panel on electric vehicle infrastructure would be prudent. The League is still looking into this legislation.
 
  • HB 13 - BROADBAND EXPANSION. Sponsored by Rep. Carfagna (R - Genoa Township) and Rep. O'Brien (D - Warren), would establish the residential broadband expansion program and make an appropriation. During its third hearing before the House Finance Committee, proponents from the Ohio Farm Bureau and the Ohio Library Council testified in support of the bill. The League is supportive of this legislation.
 
  • HB 178 - CONCEALED WEAPONS. Sponsored by Rep. Hood (R - Ashville) and Rep. Brinkman (R - Cincinnati), would modify the Weapons Law by renaming a concealed handgun license as a concealed weapons license, allowing a concealed weapons licensee to carry concealed all deadly weapons not otherwise prohibited by law, repealing a notice requirement applicable to licensees stopped for a law enforcement purpose, authorizing expungement of convictions of a violation of that requirement, and allowing a person age 21 or older and not prohibited by federal law from firearm possession to carry a concealed deadly weapon without needing a license subject to the same carrying laws as a licensee. During its eight hearing before the House Federalism Committee, the bill was amended to eliminate the requirement that a gun owner with a concealed carry license must carry that license, among other changes. The League is neutral on this legislation.
 
  • HB 163 - WATER/SEWER SERVICE. Sponsored by Rep. Brinkman (R - Cincinnati), would create a process for withholding local government funds and state water and sewer assistance from municipal corporations that engage in certain water and sewer practices with respect to extraterritorial service. During its fourth hearing before the House Public Utilities Committee, no testimony was heard. The League is opposed to this bill.
 
  • SB 33 - CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE. Sponsored by Sen. Hoagland (R - Adena), would modify certain criminal offenses with respect to critical infrastructure facilities and to impose fines and civil liability for damage to a critical infrastructure facility. During its second hearing before the House Public Utilities Committee,
 
  • HB 218 - PUBLIC-PRIVATE AGREEMENTS. Sponsored by Rep. Patton (R - Strongsville), would authorize certain public entities to enter into public-private initiatives with a private party through a public-private agreement regarding public facilities. Proponents testified in support of this bill during its second hearing before the House State and Local Government Committee. The League and the Ohio Township Association submitted a joint letter of support, which you can read HERE.
 
  • HB 264 - WATER DEVELOPMENT LOAN REFINANCING. Sponsored by Rep. Wilkin (R - Hillsboro) and Rep. O'Brien (D - Warren), would allow the Ohio Water Development Authority to provide for the refinancing of loans for certain public water and waste water infrastructure projects. During its first hearing before the House State and Local Government Committee, the bill's sponsor said the bill could potentially save local governments a substantial amount of revenue. The League is supportive of this legislation.


COMMITTEE SCHEDULE FOR THE WEEK OF JUNE 24, 2019
Friday, June 21, 2019
SENATE FINANCE
Fri., Jun. 21, 2019, 9:00 AM, Senate Finance Hearing Room
Sen. Dolan: 614-466-8056
CANCELLED
 
OPERATING BUDGET (OELSLAGER S) To make operating appropriations for the biennium beginning July 1, 2019, and ending June 30, 2021, and to provide authorization and conditions for the operation of state programs. 
 
Fourteenth Hearing, No Testimony
Wednesday, June 26, 2019
SENATE INSURANCE AND FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS
Wed., Jun. 26, 2019, 11:15 AM, Senate Finance Hearing Room
Sen. Hackett: 614-466-3780
 
BWC BUDGET (OELSLAGER S) To make appropriations for the Bureau of Workers' Compensation for the biennium beginning July 1, 2019, and ending June 30, 2021, and to provide authorization and conditions for the operation of the bureau's programs. 
 
Fourth Hearing, No Testimony, AMENDMENTS
 
HOUSE ECONOMIC AND WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT
Wed., Jun. 26, 2019, 1:30 PM, Hearing Room 018
Rep. Zeltwanger: 614-644-6027
OR AFTER SESSION
 
LAND REUTILIZATION (GREENSPAN D) To create the Land Reutilization Demolition Program and to make an appropriation. 
 
Third Hearing, All Testimony, POSSIBLE VOTE
 
SENATE AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES
Wed., Jun. 26, 2019, 4:00 PM, South Hearing Room
Sen. Hoagland: 614-466-6508
 
AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE-HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCES (ARNDT S) To establish an affirmative defense to a release or threatened release of hazardous substances from a facility for certain bona fide prospective purchasers. 
 
First Hearing, Sponsor Testimony
Thursday, June 27, 2019
SENATE INSURANCE AND FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS
Thu., Jun. 27, 2019, 9:30 AM, Senate Finance Hearing Room
Sen. Hackett: 614-466-3780
 
BWC BUDGET (OELSLAGER S) To make appropriations for the Bureau of Workers' Compensation for the biennium beginning July 1, 2019, and ending June 30, 2021, and to provide authorization and conditions for the operation of the bureau's programs. 
 
Fifth Hearing, No Testimony, POSSIBLE VOTE
PLEASE CHECK OUR WEBSITE ON MONDAY FOR ANY CHANGES TO THE COMMITTEE SCHEDULE

Ohio Municipal League Meetings & Trainings

OML Income Tax Seminar
July 10 ~ 12, 2019
Mayors Court Refresher Trainings
August 16 ~ Attorneys & Magistrates Only
October 25 & November 15


Ohio Municipal League

Legislative Inquires:
Kent Scarrett, Executive Director
Edward Albright, Deputy Director
Ashley Brewster, Director of Communications
Thomas Wetmore, Legislative Advocate

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Zoƫ Wade, Office Manager