Findlay eases proposed rules for tax returns

By MAX FILBY
STAFF WRITER

A proposal to require Findlay teenagers to file city income tax returns, even if they didn’t have earnings, has been removed from a proposed ordinance.

The city’s updated income tax ordinance would have required all city residents, including those 16 and older, to file a return even if they didn’t earn taxable income.

However, in a letter to City Council on Tuesday, Mayor Lydia Mihalik requested the ordinance be amended so only 16- and 17-year-olds earning income would have to file a return.

Under the amended ordinance, those 18 and over will still have to file a return, regardless of whether they have taxable income.

The proposed language was removed to “clear up any misconception from members of the public or public officials,” Mihalik said Tuesday.

If the language wasn’t removed, the families of 16-year-olds would have received a notice in the mail from the city telling them a return had to be filed. The teenagers would have been required to notify the city one time if they had no taxable income.

Tax Administrator Andrew Thomas’ office receives notices from the state about Findlay residents who may have taxable income, but didn’t file a city tax return. The city then notifies those individuals by mail to see if they earned taxable income.

Thomas, who supported the proposed change in the city’s ordinance, said earlier this month that it would have likely decreased the 600 people a year his office has to contact to see if they’ve earned taxable income.

But City Auditor Jim Staschiak took issue with the proposal at a Nov. 4 Income Tax Board meeting.

The filing requirement would “unnecessarily burden a child,” Staschiak said.

Separately Tuesday, At-Large Councilman Tom Shindledecker commented on an accident he and his wife were involved in Saturday night.

“My wife and I are blessed to be alive,” Shindledecker said.

At about 11:50 p.m. Saturday, Shindledecker, 74, was driving south in a 2011 Toyota Avalon in the 3000 block of North Main Street when he fell asleep at the wheel, Findlay police reported. The car traveled left of center, crossed both northbound lanes of North Main Street and struck a utility pole, police said.

Shindledecker’s wife, Bonita, 72, a passenger in the car, was injured and taken by Hanco Ambulance to Blanchard Valley Hospital for treatment, police said. Shindledecker was cited for failure to control, police said.

On Tuesday, Shindledecker said police, hospital workers and others who assisted at the accident scene were “very courteous and helpful.”

Separately, council members approved $95,000 to rewire the Findlay Municipal Building. The building’s computer network wiring is “in a state of disrepair” and updates will increase the city’s ability to use “future technologies,” Safety-Service Director Paul Schmelzer told council members in a letter earlier this month.

Council members also gave a first reading to an ordinance appropriating $550,000 from the general fund to the planned city and county health department merger.

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