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The Statehouse News Bureau provides educational, comprehensive coverage of legislation, elections, issues and other activities surrounding the Statehouse to Ohio's public radio and television stations.

Conservative Group Sues Over City Taxes Paid By Workers At Home

The Buckeye Institute's offices are located in a building across the street from the Statehouse in downtown Columbus. [Karen Kasler]
The Buckeye Institute's offices are located in a building across the street from the Statehouse in downtown Columbus.

A conservative think tank has filed a lawsuit against the city of Columbus and the state of Ohio, claiming that its employees who live outside of Columbus shouldn’t have paid city income taxes while working during the state’s stay at home order.


Buckeye Institute president Robert Alt said the lawsuit was filed on behalf of three employees who don’t live in Columbus and weren’t allowed to work in Columbus during the stay at home order, but were being taxed by Columbus.

“It’s not just unfair to the employees – it’s unfair to the other municipalities that are performing those services that are being deprived of tax revenue that they would otherwise be entitled to," Alt said.

Alt says thousands of Ohio workers are in this situation, with potentially millions of dollars at stake.

Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein wrote in a statement:

“Our office has yet to be served this complaint, so we’re unfamiliar with the particulars of the case at this time. However, Columbus – and municipalities across Ohio – have been acting in accordance with the Governor’s order and a bipartisan bill passed by state lawmakers. In the middle of an untamed and growing pandemic is not the time to upend decades of precedent to wage a philosophical battle about taxes. Cities across the state stand to lose a massive amount of tax revenue, and there are real-world consequences affecting how we perform essential functions for millions of Ohioans, including taking care of the sick, feeding hungry children, paving our roads and keeping our community safe.”

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