Findlay income tax credit? Nope

Findlay residents who work outside the city won’t be receiving a municipal income tax credit anytime soon.

On Tuesday, City Council informally discussed the tax credit idea at 1st Ward Councilwoman Holly Frische’s request, but some council members dismissed the idea as fiscally risky and fundamentally unfair.

“If we see a (healthy economic) trend four or five years down the road, then maybe we can have this conversation again,” said 3rd Ward Councilman Ron Monday.

“My basic question is still, why would we ever want to do this?” asked Randy Van Dyne, 2nd Ward councilman.

Offering a credit for residents who work outside of the city, and pay another city’s income tax, began in 1967 when Findlay’s 1 percent income tax collection started. Residents were offered a full credit until 1979. The credit then fluctuated between a half-percent and 1 percent, depending on the city’s budget situation, said Andrew Thomas, Findlay’s income tax administrator.

In 2009, the half-percent credit became a casualty of the Great Recession, as officials scrimped and saved where they could.

In 2008, the last year the credit was in effect, 2,345 households took advantage of it, Thomas said, costing the city $452,000 in revenue.

In 2013, the credit would have resulted in the city’s tax collection being reduced by $567,617, he said.

Courier reporter Joy Brown will have more on Wednesday.

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