Hillsboro City Council met for the final time in 2020 Monday night, approving and adopting 11 ordinances and resolutions, including $5,421,820 in general fund appropriations for 2021.
City auditor Alex Butler told The Times-Gazette that the $5.4 million general fund budget was “the most critical” for budget funding and was mainly derived from income tax sources.
Appropriations for 2021 totaled $14,821,370, which Butler said came from other funding sources besides the income tax, and in some cases, funded themselves.
According to Butler, next year’s budget is comparable to last year’s, which was about $470,000 less with a general fund total of $5.3 million and total appropriations at nearly $14.4 million.
Council members also unanimously voiced their condemnation of a pair of bills making their way through the Ohio legislature.
Senate Bill 352 and House Bill 754 both seek to repeal section 29 of HB 197, which would modify income tax employer withholding rules for those working from home due to the pandemic.
The Ohio Municipal League has spoken against passing either bill, saying that it would “impact current municipal income tax collections,” which has been a large source of revenue for cities for several decades.
Approved in March after the COVID-19 outbreak, the HB 197 emergency bill was passed to ensure Ohio workers continued to pay city income taxes based on their employers’ location, even if their work at home activities took place outside of that municipality.
Section 29 of HB 197 has been called unconstitutional by the SB 352 sponsor, Kristina Roegner (R-Hudson), and The Buckeye Institute.
In their approval of Resolution 20-49, the council stated that the bills would “result in a myriad of unintended consequences throughout Ohio’s entire municipal income tax system” and would “jeopardize the future economic growth of the state of Ohio.”
According to the Ohio Legislature website, both bills are pending before committees, and Roegner stated that she did not expect any action on the legislation until January.
Other ordinances and resolutions approved and adopted Monday night included:
• Ordinance 2020-23, which allowed for the adoption of the budget for the city for 2021. Council president Tom Eichinger described the budget as “as lean a budget as we can see.”
• Ordinance 2020-11, which amended a section of the city code to provide sidewalk requirements in all approved development and improvement in the city of Hillsboro
• Ordinance 2020-13, which amended portions of the zoning code and the zoning map. Eichinger said this mainly concerned the developments, including the Marriott Hotel project, proposed on S.R. 73 and Harry Sauner Rd.
• Ordinance 2020-16, which addressed mobile food vendors by amending the Hillsboro City Code.
The following six other ordinances and resolutions were approved and adopted after the suspension of the three-reading rule:
• Resolution 20-48, which allows mayor Justin Harsha to enter into an agreement with the state of Ohio and the Ohio Development Services Agency to administer the city’s economic development revolving loan fund, in association with community development block grant funds.
Safety and service director Brianne Abbott described the measure as a three-year renewal with the state.
• Resolution 20-49, which strongly opposes passage of SB 352 and HB 754.
• Resolutions 20-50 and 20-51, which both supplement appropriations and transfer funds within the city’s general fund. Butler said these resolutions would benefit the annual Shop With a Cop program as well as the recreational and parks funds.
• Resolution 20-52, which authorizes a “then and now” purchase order procedure.
• Ordinance 2020-20, which was approved and adopted to allocate the wages and salaries of certain city employees among multiple city departments.
• Ordinance 2020-22, which authorized the city’s acquisition of the old firehouse and transferred the uptown property for development purposes.
The next meeting of Hillsboro City Council will be Monday, Jan. 11 at 7 p.m. at the Hillsboro Municipal Court.
Reach Tim Colliver at 937-402-2571