Ohio Supreme Court Declines to Hear Remote Worker Tax Challenge
The Ohio Supreme Court will not review an appellate court decision upholding a statutory provision giving municipalities the power to tax remote at-home work as if it had been performed in the municipality itself.
The case at hand is The Buckeye Institute v. Kilgore, where the Ohio-based think tank challenged Section 29 of House Bill 197, a bill that required work performed by remote workers during the pandemic to be treated for municipal tax purposes as if it had been performed at the workplace inside the municipality. The Buckeye Institute asserted that the provision violated the employees’ due process rights by seeking the income of nonresidents that was earned outside the city limits, where there is neither nexus nor fiscal relation between the city and the income.
The court at the county level disagreed, saying that the Ohio General Assembly acted within its authority by passing legislation that limited, coordinated, and regulated municipal taxing authorities with respect to remote workers due to the pandemic. On appeal, the appellate court agreed. The appellate court noted that the provision was not clearly incompatible with the legislature’s authority to limit the power of municipalities to levy taxes while addressing the pandemic.
The think tank seems optimistic about the chance to get similar remote-worker cases in front of the Supreme Court, as there are several pending at the appellate level.