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Rossford voices opposition to state budget plan

Rossford is the latest northwest Ohio municipality to voice opposition to Gov. John Kasich’s proposed 2017-18 budget.

City Council unanimously adopted a resolution Monday night opposing Mr. Kasich’s plans to switch to a centralized collection of local business income tax. Perrysburg City Council adopted a similar resolution last week, and officials in Oregon appear poised to do the same.

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MacKinnon

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“I don’t think it helps us or anyone else,” Rossford Mayor Neil MacKinnon said. “I see it to be kind of unnecessary and a financial grab. I just don’t see any reason for it.”

The budget proposal would have the state collect taxes on business income on a quarterly basis and send the money to potentially multiple taxing entities where they conduct business. The state would also charge a 1 percent fee.

Mr. Kasich’s budget is pending in the Ohio House of Representatives.

Several communities in Ohio have argued the change will hurt them financially. Perrysburg believes the action would violate home rule.

“I just think the way it’s set up now is fine,” Mr. MacKinnon said. “I see no reason to change it or have another party involved.”

In other business, council voted 5-1 to issue a 180-day ban on issuing permits for the selling or cultivation of marijuana. Council passed a similar ordinance last September.

The new moratorium buys time for the city to decide how to proceed on the issue. Law Director Kevin Heban said the state has yet to give any guidance on how to police the matter. Currently, each municipality can pass its own legislation.

Councilman Jerry Staczek voted no, but other councilmen indicated they support medical marijuana, and would be open to allowing it after further discussion.

“I don’t see a problem if someone wants to set up shop with the understanding they have to abide by the state law,” Mr. Staczek said. “By putting this forward, we’re saying it’s a bad idea without even giving a reason.”

Council voted unanimously to establish a Tax Increment Finance district in the Crossroads area. Funds collected would benefit the entire area, including a $75 million business park announced last year near Bass Pro Shops.

NAI Harmon is the property’s developer. The tax district will fund construction of an access road to the business park.

A 30-year TIF will begin for parcels on an individual basis as each one is developed, as opposed to the entire area starting the 30-year clock at the same time. City Administrator Mike Scott says the rolling TIF will help property that has yet to see activity.

Contact Jay Skebba at: jskebba@theblade.com, 419-376-9414, or on Twitter @JaySkebbaBlade.

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