By JODI MYERS
Daily Globe News Editor
SHELBY - Although Ordinance 3-2018 left a bad taste in the mouths of Shelby City Council members, they ultimately passed the first reading of the legislation when they met Monday night.
Ordinance 3-2018 amends Chapter 881 (earned income tax regulations effective beginning January, 1, 2016) of the Codified Ordinances of the City of Shelby to adopt sections 718.80 through 718.95 of the Ohio Revised Code. It authorizes state officials to collect and administer municipal net profit taxes with the passage of House Bill 49.
“Mayor, the state legislature in adopting House Bill 49 in the current session, without a doubt violated Article 18 Section 3 of the Constitution of the State of Ohio - that’s the Home Rule provision,” Gates noted. “This legislature, and I have to include the governor because he signed the legislation, are engaging in the worst kind of coercion - governmental coercion - that this council member has seen in a long time.
“Of course a number of communities have challenged that piece of legislation as being unconstitutional to Home Rule powers and the city of Shelby is a party to that lawsuit,” Gates said. “The state won the first round in Franklin County Common Pleas Court. It is being appealed.
“But we have a conundrum here,” Gates said. “The legislature said we have to amend our local income tax ordinances to comply with this bill - which we still maintain is unconstitutional - but if we fail to adopt their coercive sections we would lose our ability to collect any city income tax whatsoever for the year 2018.
“So even though we believe the actions of the legislature are unconstitutional, this councilmember doesn’t feel that we can jeopardize losing all of our income tax,” Gates said. “So that’s what brings us to this piece of legislation.
“Over the years I have voted either for or against legislation...here’s a case where I feel where I’m going to hold my nose and vote for this because it stinks...pure and simple,” Gates said. “It’s not my best legislative writings but I think the intent is clear that the legislature is twisting our arms to react. Again, I’m going to hold my nose and vote for it because it’s the wise course of action for this councilmember at this time.”
Councilmembers Gates, Derrin Roberts and Steve McLaughlin voted yes on the first reading of the ordinance. Councilmembers Charlie Roub and Nathan Martin were absent from the meeting.