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Below is information for Centralized Income Tax Collection and Small Cell Towers

Centralized Income Tax Collection

Discussions continue at the State level to enact municipal income tax changes that will cause financial harm to municipalities while encroaching upon the City of Mason’s home rule powers granted by the Ohio Constitution.

In 2012, HB 601 was introduced in the General Assembly. This bill included several changes that would cause a financial loss to municipalities and provide stringent requirements upon local income tax enforcement and collection processes. Ohio Municipal League (OML) and many municipalities opposed this bill and passed resolutions to formalize their opposition.

In 2013, HB 5 was introduced in the General Assembly that caused financial loss to many municipalities and initially considered centralized collection of municipal income tax by the State. Likewise, Ohio Municipal League (OML) and many municipalities opposed this bill and passed resolutions to formalize their opposition. Centralized collection and some of the financially negative items were removed before HB 5 became law.

Proposed changes previously removed from bills described above were recently added by the Governor to the State’s Budget for 2017-2018. At this meeting on February 27, 2017 Mason City Council approved Resolution 2017-3 opposing the changes included in the proposed State Budget related to municipal income tax. A copy of Resolution 2017-3. Mason urges residents to contact their local legislators to voice opposition to the municipal income tax changes.

For your convenience attached is a form letter that can be forwarded to State Legislators.
Form Letter

The Ohio Senate

http://ohiosenate.gov/members/senate-directory

The Ohio House of Representatives

http://www.ohiohouse.gov/members/member-directory

 

 

Small Cell Towers

On December 7, 2016, the Ohio General Assembly passed Senate Bill 331 (SB 331), titled “Regulate dog sales and license pet stores” aka the Petland Bill. Prior to passage, during this lame duck session, provisions were inserted into the legislation stripping a municipality's ability to regulate small cell facilities including: their placement, construction, modification and maintenance in the public right-of-way (ROW). Governor Kasich signed the bill on December 19, 2016, and it will take effect March 21, 2017.

Small Cell facilities are designed to be strategically deployed within an area to improve coverage and reliability of cellular networks and to support the deployment of next generation 5G networks. Mason City Council passed zoning ordinance modifications in 2016 in order to control the amount, location, design and impacts of these facilities. Unfortunately, SB 331 now removes most local control of small cell facility deployment and specifically prohibits municipalities from:

  • Applying zoning regulations to small cell wireless applications;
  • Evaluating the business decisions of the applicant, the need for the antenna or equipment, or the availability of alternative locations;
  • Precluding placement of equipment in a residential area or within a specific distance from a residence or other structure;
  • Demanding the removal of existing wireless support structures or equipment as a condition of approval of a new application;
  • Limiting the duration of any permit;
  • Imposing separation or spacing requirements between antennae and equipment;
  • Enacting any moratorium on the filing, consideration or approval of applications; or
  • Entering into exclusive arrangements for the right to attach to a municipal corporation's poles or other delineated support structures.

 

The bill stipulates a municipality may not refuse to provide access to its own wireless support structures, poles or facilities in the ROW, if a wireless provider wishes to use those structures or poles.

Once an application is submitted, municipalities have 90 days (60 days for existing facility upgrades) to act or it is deemed automatically approved. With this timeline, the City will continue to require that the application be processed through Planning Commission and City Council as the ordinance was designed, however decisions by Council have been extremely limited by the new state law.

Mason, along with every other municipality in the State of Ohio, will have little to no chance of properly vetting locations, designs or impacts of these wireless facilities on the community due to the efforts of the wireless industry to remove basic zoning control from local authorities. Staff anticipates applications for deployment of these wireless facilities to begin soon.

For your convenience attached is a form letter that can be forwarded to State Legislators.
Form Letter

The Ohio Senate

http://ohiosenate.gov/members/senate-directory

The Ohio House of Representatives

http://www.ohiohouse.gov/members/member-directory