Buckeye Institute Disputes Expanded Municipal Taxing Authority in Ohio on Behalf of Blue Ash Resident

A Columbus-based think tank this week filed its legal response in the Ohio Supreme Court in defense of a Blue Ash man who believes the state cannot make him pay Cincinnati income taxes for a period of time he actually worked from home. 

The Buckeye Institute argued that a state law passed in March 2020 to allow jurisdictions encompassing an “employee’s principal place of work” to levy taxes on that worker even when he or she works from home is unconstitutional. Specifically, the institute notes that the federal Constitution’s dormant commerce clause in Article I, Section 8 disallows states to enact statutes that “unduly burden interstate commerce.” Buckeye attorneys also believe the Ohio Constitution constrains lawmakers’ ability to broaden cities and towns’ tax-collection power. 

Read More

Ohio Judge Rules Pennsylvanian Needn’t Pay Cleveland Taxes for Work Done from Home

Dr. Manal Morsy

A Cuyahoga County, OH court this week ruled in favor of a Pennsylvania resident employed in Cleveland who argued she did not need to pay taxes to that city for work she did from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The plaintiff, Dr. Manal Morsy, executive vice president at the Athersys biotechnology company who lives in the southeastern Pennsylvania town of Blue Bell, would commute to Cleveland and stay through her workweeks before COVID hit in 2020. Whenever she worked outside of Cleveland previously, she would receive income-tax refunds from the municipality. Pursuant to a state law passed in March 2020 which stated that work from home during the public emergency would be deemed to take place “at the employees principal place of work,” the city collect the municipal income tax from her employer without refunding it. 

Read More