VANDALIA — The City of Vandalia will join other municipalities in Ohio in a constitutional challenge to a certain provisions of House Bill 49 – Ohio’s biennial budget bill – that would allow the Ohio Department of Taxation to collect business profit taxes, minus a fee, before distributing them back to local governments.
The city is joining a coalition of over 100 other municipalities in challenging the law to “protect and preserve the City’s Home Rule power of local self government and the protection of income tax revenue in order to maintain and provide municipal services,” according to City Manager Jon Crusey’s Friday letter to Council.
Crusey and Mayor Arlene Setzer said that the best way to get legislators to the table to negotiate is to begin litigation.
“Ever since the legislature passed House Bill 5 we’ve been trying to get state legislators to listen to us,” said Setzer. “They have their own way of wanting to listen to us, but this is the best way. They are trampling Home Rule, but we have some hope they will negotiate.”
“What will bring them to the (negotiating) table will be filing litigation,” said Crusey.
Crusey said the city’s cost to join the lawsuit will be approximately $4,000.
Council also began the process that they hope will reduce semi-truck traffic in the city. The city will spend just over $27,500 on signage that will encourage trucks to use the interstates and Airport Access Road instead of Dixie Drive and National Road.
Signs will also be erected that prohibit any truck over 26 feet in length from making a right turn from either direction on Dixie Drive onto National Road. The city hopes to have the signs in place by the end of the year.
Cassel Hills golf course will begin a three-phase project to renovate bunkers at the course after Council approved the proposal from the Parks and Recreation Division. The first phase, which will cost $39,250, will reconstruct sand bunkers on holes 1, 2, 6 and 7 and eliminate the forward bunker on hole 2. The project will be completed this winter.
In other action, Council:
- Approved an ordinance that changes the penalty for unpaid withholding taxes from the amount required in House Bill 5, which was 50%, to 10% per month for the first month and then 3% for every month after to a maximum of 50%. Under House Bill 5, cities were required to have a penalty of 50% or nothing. Language in House bill 49 gives municipalities the ability to enact a penalty “not exceeding 50 percent.”
- Approved the purchase of a van for the Parks and Recreation Division from Beau Townsend Ford at a cost of $25,620. Quotes were requested from three local dealers but Beau Townsend was the only dealer who responded.
- Approved the Montgomery County Budget Commission’s property tax rates for the city. The city’s inside millage, which is the 10-mill property tax that can be established without voter approval, is a total of 1.84 mills. Of that, 1.54 mills, estimated at $508,640, goes to the General Fund. 0.30 mils, estimated at $99,086, goes to the Police Pension Fund. The city also has voter approved 2.30 mills for the General Fund that will generate around $759,657.
- Approved a replat of two parcels that Monroe Federal Savings Bank sits on and combines them into one parcel. Council also gave final approval to an ordinance that will allow a reconfiguration at the bank to relocate the drive-thru to the rear of the property along with other renovations.
- Approved a resolution to name Field 8 at the Vandalia Sports Complex in honor of long-time employee Hank Owings. Council’s approval comes after a recommendation was made by an Ad Hoc committee to name the field after the recent retiree.
- Approved the first reading of an ordinance that will allow the Pilot Flying J on Northwoods Blvd. to construct a guard shack.
- Approved a summer meeting schedule for June, July and August. Council will meet on the third Monday of those months beginning with a workshop at 6 p.m. followed by a regular meeting at 7 p.m.
The Vandalia City Council will hold its next regular meeting on Monday, November 6 at 7 p.m. A workshop will be held immediately prior to the meeting in the large conference room at a time to be announced. Both meetings are open to the public.
Reach Darrell Wacker at (937) 684-8983 or on Twitter @VandaliaDrummer.