Strongsville Joins Group to Fight Loss of Estate Tax -- and $750,000 a Year
New group aims to give communities a voice in Columbus
Strongsville will join a group of cities banding together to get more clout in dealing with the state over funding issues, including the proposed end of Ohio's estate tax.
Mayor Tom Perciak said Strongsville stands to lose $750,000 a year if the state eliminates the estate tax in 2013, as proposed.
"We really have to be careful on this one," Perciak said. "We're also losing $500,000 in local government -- by the time it's said and done, it's almost $2 million. How do we close that gap? Where does the money come from?"
City Council agreed April 18 to spend $5,000 to join the Council to Protect Ohio's Communities, a coalition organized by Shaker Heights
"It's very important we join," Council President Mike Daymut said. "We need a more collective voice about some of these mandates that are coming down."
An Ohio Senate committee last week passed a bill to eliminate Ohio's estate tax in 2013. Currently, inheritance taxes are imposed on estates larger than $338,333, with cities receiving 80 percent of the revenue.
But local officials said the loss would be devastating to cities already reeling from other state funding cutbacks, including local government fund revenue. Strongsville will lose about $1 million over two years because of those recent funding cuts.
Perciak said that without a voice in Columbus, cities can expect to lose more state funding.
At least 10 communities have joined the coalition so far, with many more expected to jump on board.
"They (state officials) want regionalism?" Daymut said. "We'll give them regionalism."