protect local government authority

protect local government authority

centralized income tax collection

Mason City Council recently joined a coalition of municipalities to challenge the State of Ohio’s efforts to start centralized collection of municipal income tax.  Through the Ohio Constitution, Cities may have home rule power of local self-government.  When the State passes laws encroaching upon local self-government it is necessary to defend these attacks through the judicial system.

Recent laws to assert control over the administration and collection of municipal income taxes is an encroachment of Mason’s home rule power of local self-government that is vital to Mason’s health, safety and welfare.  House Bill 49 (the state’s biennial budget bill) contains numerous provisions relating to centralized collection of municipal net profits taxes by the Ohio Department of Taxation.  This takes locally generated resources needed for local services and gives the collection and control over to centralized state bureaucracy.  Once controlled by the state, it is likely that future changes could lead to redistribution of local taxes to other areas that would force higher taxes and fewer services for local taxpayers.

The City of Mason is committed to fight for its residents and businesses to keep local control of municipal income taxes, keep taxes low and provide the best services to its customers.  Preserving local self-government is the best way to do this.

Please continue to express your concern to your representatives. 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