Ability for Ohio cities to collect income tax while people work remotely expires on December 1

Failure by the legislature to renew policy will hurt big cities like Cleveland
The City of Cleveland would have to find new revenue sources or raise taxes if the state...
The City of Cleveland would have to find new revenue sources or raise taxes if the state legislature doesn't allow them to keep income tax from remote workers(Vic Gideon)
Updated: Nov. 10, 2020 at 10:32 AM EST
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Cities like Cleveland can collect income taxes, even when workers don’t leave their homes, working remotely from the suburbs because of coronavirus.

That money funds police, fire, road work, garbage collection, and everything else needed to create an environment for jobs.

“Most of our taxes are from income tax," says Westlake Mayor Dennis Clough. “We couldn’t have the industrial development if we didn’t put the infrastructure in first."

The Ohio legislature allowed cities to continue to collect income taxes for workers not coming into the city.

But that policy expires Dec. 1.

“The fact that people are staying home, there’s a concern whether or not it’s legal for cities to actually tax people when they’re working outside of the city,” says Mayor Clough. “My sense is they’re going to continue it because when it was extended to Dec. 1, they were using the end of the coronavirus as the quote, ‘end date.’ Obviously, it’s still with us.”

Westlake is unique since the mayor says as many as three-quarters of residents work outside the city, but Westlake still has people commuting into the city to work within limits.

Not so with cities with more jobs.

“The major metropolitan areas like Cleveland, they may lose quite a bit.”

State Sen. Kristin Roegner, a Republican from Hudson, has tried to stop the current policy and wants taxes paid to the city where someone works remotely.

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