Testimony highlights local hardships faced under state budget proposal

COLUMBUS — State Rep. John Patterson (D-Jefferson) recently welcomed Patricia Fisher, clerk-treasurer for the Village of Jefferson, to the Statehouse to testify before the Ohio House Finance Committee on House Bill 49, the state’s biennial budget legislation.

IMG_0091 crop“Patricia is a tireless public servant who cares greatly for the Village of Jefferson,” said Patterson. “By traveling to Columbus to voice her opposition to provisions of the state budget, she demonstrated once again her integrity and dedication to bettering our community.”

Fisher focused her testimony on provisions of House Bill 49 that would centralize in Columbus the collection of local taxes.

“Like Abraham Lincoln, I firmly believe in a government of the people, by the people, and for the people and there is no government closer to the people than that of municipal government,” said Fisher in her testimony. “The Village of Jefferson is governed by its own residents who care for and believe in their community and wish to take responsibility for charting its course. These residents, including myself, decided many years ago to self-administer the municipal income tax code and not contract those services to a third-party agency because of the great deal of talent we have and the attention we provide to our taxpayers. The state, through House Bill 49, threatens that conscious decision and violates our home rule powers as a result.”

Fisher also included along with her testimony the Village of Jefferson’s resolution, adopted on March 20, that outlines the village’s opposition to HB 49’s municipal income tax changes.

“House Bill 49 is a big business deal that aggrandizes state power, lines state pockets and hurts local governments, all while doing an inferior job compared to municipal tax administrators,” said Fisher.

Fisher’s testimony occurred during the final hearing of the House Finance Committee before the legislative spring recess. During the two-week recess, lawmakers in the House will determine what changes are made to Governor Kasich’s budget proposal.

Jefferson Solicitor Michael Hamper also attended House Finance Committee along with Fisher.

Jefferson clerk-treasurer testifies in Statehouse committee