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January 5, 2018

OML UPDATE AT-A-GLANCE

Happy New Year! Here are the top three things you need to know this week:

  • Uhrichsville has been making headlines recently as it has sworn in the youngest elected official in Ohio. Eric Harmon, a 19-year-old freshman at Kent State University, was sworn in this week as a Uhrichsville councilman at large.
  • What can we expect from the Ohio Legislature this year? With a lame duck session looming at the end of 2018 it's anyone's guess, but the Capitol Letter at Cleveland.com has speculations which include:
    • o   The Capital Budget (which we've discussed in previous bulletins)
    • o   Redistricting reform
    • o   Renewable energy standard re-write
    • o   Wind energy
    • o   Unemployment insurance overhaul
    • o   College affordability
    • o   Payday lending reform
    • o   Medical marijuana
    • Behavioral health redesign  
  • Infrastructure: In 2017, the Ohio EPA spent $936 million on both drinking water infrastructure and surface water. $65 million was allocated for public wastewater systems while $861 million went to wastewater infrastructure improvements. The EPA plans to spend over $1.7 billion on improving surface water quality in 2018. You can read a further breakdown of the numbers HERE.
 
BREAKING DOWN THE MUNICIPAL INCOME TAX COURT RULING

As we reported in our previous bulletin, right before the new year, the Honorable Judge David Cain of the Franklin County Common Pleas Court issued an Agreed Order on the lawsuit brought by 137 Ohio municipalities regarding the centralized collection of municipal business net profit filings by the Department of Taxation (per HB 49). OML's Legal Counsel Garry Hunter reviewed the Agreed Order and broke down its impact as follows:
  • By agreement of the parties, Franklin County Common Pleas Court has stayed the requirement of H.B. 49 that all municipalities adopt a reconciliation income tax ordinance with new state law by January 31, 2018. The new date for compliance is February 24, 2018, unless modified by the court.
  • Briefs on the matter of the preliminary injunction are to be submitted by February 9, 2018 and A hearing on the preliminary injunction is scheduled for February 12-13, 2018.
  • If a preliminary injunction is issued the stay will remain in effect until a decision on the merit of whether the legislation is constitutional.  If the preliminary injunction is denied, municipalities will need to decide whether they are going to comply with the reconciliation requirements of H.B. 49 
  • The decision is binding on all municipalities which are a party to the litigation.  However, those municipalities not a party to the litigation are not guaranteed the state will not try to enforce the reconciliation provisions of H.B. 49 after January 31, 2018. 
  • The Agreed Order only affects the reconciliation provisions of H.B. 49; all other provisions of H.B. 49 are not affected by the stay.  
The litigation is an important part of the fight to defend Home Rule and preserve municipalities' ability to locally control revenues and ensure tax filings are complete and accurate. We will continue to report on the progress of the litigation throughout the court process, or if more information becomes available.

 
 
OML GEARS UP FOR 2018

 
The League is excited to announce the initiation of several new programs we are rolling out in 2018, in addition to the continuation of the programs we successfully launched last year. We are looking forward to the upcoming year as an opportunity to connect with our members, regional leaders, legislators and their staff.

 
  • Regional Conferences. We know all too well that it is simply not possible for everyone to make it to our Annual Conference in Columbus each fall. That is why this year, we will be bringing a one-day conference to each of Ohio's four regions. Our goal is to connect with our members in the part of the state in which they govern and provide them with some of the educational and networking opportunities they would otherwise have at the Annual Conference. Keep an eye out in the coming months for dates and locations.
  • Legislative Staff Orientation.  Legislative staff are some of the hardest-working and most valuable assets here at the Capital. OML wants to ensure these critical members of the legislative process understand what municipalities do, how they are funded and how they can be more effective for the municipalities in their districts. Dates, times and locations are forthcoming, so legislative schedulers should keep their calendars ready!
  • Legislative Breakfast Roundtables. OML will be continuing an event we successfully launched last year: the Legislative Breakfast Roundtable. This past year, we had the opportunity to discuss many important issues, such as the new direction of the League, the issues in the budget bill important to municipalities, and infrastructure, with many senators and representatives over coffee and a breakfast buffet. Our next breakfast will be held in February, where will be discussing the issue of "placemaking" with legislators, and we are looking forward to a productive discussion.
  • Regional Leaders Meetings. Continuing a successful program from the previous year,OML wants to ensure we are making it easy for our regional leaders to connect with OML and with one another. This year, we will be initiating regular Regional Leaders meetings as an opportunity for statewide leaders to create a greater coordination with issue awareness and messaging among the regional municipal groups across the state on issues important to cities and villages.
  • Municipal Lobbyist Meetings. Another successful initiative from 2017 will carry on into this next year. OML will continue to meet quarterly with Capital Square lobbyists representing municipalities across the state. These meetings are designed to better coordinate issue awareness among our municipal advocates. We feel it is important to have a unified voice when educating members of the Ohio legislature on the issues important to municipalities. 
 
REGISTRATION OPEN FOR MAYOR'S COURT TRAINING

 
OML is currently receiving registrations for it's Mayor's Court trainings this month, January 18 th and 19 th, and next month, February 14 th and 15 th. The current number of participants already registered is low, and League staff hopes to avoid having to either cancel or combine the events. If you plan to participate or are interested in attending, please register HERE to ensure you don't miss this valuable training.  


COMMITTEE SCHEDULE FOR THE WEEK OF JANUARY 7, 2018
 
 
Wednesday, January 10, 2018
HOUSE WAYS AND MEANS
Wed., Jan. 10, 2018, 10:00 AM, Hearing Room 121
Rep. Schaffer: 614-466-8100
 
PROPERTY VALUE CONTEST-RESOLUTIONS (MERRIN D) To require local governments that contest property values to formally pass an authorizing resolution for each contest and to notify property owners. 
 
Sixth Hearing, No Testimony, AMENDMENTS/POSSIBLE VOTE
 
TAXES ON UNSOLD PROPERTY (MERRIN D) To exempt from property taxation the increased value of land subdivided for residential development until construction commences or the land is sold. 
 
Sixth Hearing, No Testimony, POSSIBLE VOTE
 
 
 
PLEASE CHECK OUR WEBSITE MONDAY FOR ANY COMMITTEE SCHEDULE CHANGES

Up Coming Meetings & Events

Mayor's Court Initial Training Program
January 18 & 19
February 14 & 15

Registration Information
Newly Elected Council Training Seminars
February 24, March 3 & 24
Webinar: Marsy's Law
January 25, 2018
Registration Information

Ohio Municipal League

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

Website/Bulletin Issues:
Zoƫ Wade, Office Manager