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WKSU is looking for the answers to the questions you have about Ohio in a project we call "OH Really?" It's an initiative that makes you part of the news gathering process.

Telecommuters Might Get Income Tax Refunds. OH Really?

calculator and paper with numbers
Two bills in the Statehouse could impact whether taxes would be refunded for people who worked from home for a company in a different city.

Legislators in the Statehouse have been grappling with the issue of income taxes, and where they should be paid, for much of this year. Our "OH Really?" team received an anonymous question on why people should have to pay taxes in their company's home city, even if the workers themselves have been telecommuting in a different city. Statehouse Correspondent Jo Ingles explains the reason why.

Two bills making their way through the legislature would allow people to get refunds on their taxes from places where they did not physically work last year or this year. Ingles says that's good news for people who live in suburbs, but cities will be losing out.

"We are continuing to see the Mayors Alliance [and] the municipal organizations come in and say, ‘Hey, if you do this, it's going to affect the police services, the fire services. It’s going to hurt so many different places.'" Ingles aid. "But a lot of lawmakers are saying, ‘Well, the whole intent of this is to tax people where they work. Why should someone who maybe works in Cleveland that lives in another place—let’s say, Shaker Heights—why should that person have to pay into city taxes in Cleveland if they're not using Cleveland services?'"

A version of the bill passed by the House would allow refunds for this year, but the courts would have to decide whether to extend that to 2020 taxes, which were due last month.

"OH Really?" is WKSU's podcast which makes you part of the reporting process. Submit your question below.


Kabir Bhatia is a senior reporter for Ideastream Public Media's arts & culture team.