Riverside vs. State of Ohio on Tax Issue

Feb 20, 2013

The state of Ohio wants a federal judge to dismiss the city of Riverside’s lawsuit that seeks to tax civilian employees and contractors who work at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. 

Back in 2007, the city of Riverside announced it would begin collecting taxes on civilian employees who work on the portion of Wright-Patt that falls within Riverside city limits – that’s Area B.  Riverside’s lawsuit argues that an unconstitutional provision in Ohio's municipal income tax law prevents them from collecting taxes from those employees. 

Riverside City Manager Bryan Chodkowski says the law creates an arbitrary and unjustifiable tax exemption to some government employees and contractors.

He said, “What exempts them from paying here creates a special category and that they are given unique treatment that other people are not provided, that other typical citizens are not provided.  And so were asking the court to look at that argument and to determine whether or not these folks are being provided a unique privilege not provided to those who pay income tax where they work.”

Workers at Wright-Patt’s Area B would be subject to a 1.5 percent income tax if the city of Riverside wins its case.  It won a lower court ruling several years ago, but then lost on an appeal. The state's motion Tuesday argues that federal courts don't have jurisdiction over lawsuits filed against a state by its citizens.