(1) The legislative authority of each municipal corporation that imposes a tax on income in accordance with this chapter shall maintain a local board of tax review to hear appeals as provided in this section. The legislative authority of any municipal corporation that does not impose a tax on income on June 26, 2003, but that imposes such a tax after that date, shall establish such a board by ordinance not later than one hundred eighty days after the tax takes effect.
(2) The local board of tax review shall consist of three members. Two members shall be appointed by the legislative authority of the municipal corporation, but such appointees may not be employees, elected officials, or contractors with the municipal corporation at any time during their term or in the five years immediately preceding the date of appointment. One member shall be appointed by the top administrative official of the municipal corporation. This member may be an employee of the municipal corporation, but may not be the director of finance or equivalent officer, or the tax administrator or other similar official or an employee directly involved in municipal tax matters, or any direct subordinate thereof.
(3) The term for members of the local board of tax review appointed by the legislative authority of the municipal corporation shall be two years. There is no limit on the number of terms that a member may serve if the member is reappointed by the legislative authority. The board member appointed by the top administrative official of the municipal corporation shall serve at the discretion of the administrative official.
(4) Members of the board of tax review appointed by the legislative authority may be removed by the legislative authority by majority vote for malfeasance, misfeasance, or nonfeasance in office. To remove such a member, the legislative authority must give the member a copy of the charges against the member and afford the member an opportunity to be publicly heard in person or by counsel in the member's own defense upon not less than ten days' notice. The decision by the legislative authority on the charges is final and not appealable.
(5) A member of the board who, for any reason, ceases to meet the qualifications for the position prescribed by this section shall resign immediately by operation of law.
(6) A vacancy in an unexpired term shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment within sixty days of when the vacancy was created. Any member appointed to fill a vacancy occurring prior to the expiration of the term for which the member's predecessor was appointed shall hold office for the remainder of such term. No vacancy on the board shall impair the power and authority of the remaining members to exercise all the powers of the board.
(7) If a member is temporarily unable to serve on the board due to a conflict of interest, illness, absence, or similar reason, the legislative authority or top administrative official that appointed the member shall appoint another individual to temporarily serve on the board in the member's place. The appointment of such an individual shall be subject to the same requirements and limitations as are applicable to the appointment of the member temporarily unable to serve.
(B) Whenever a tax administrator issues an assessment regarding an underpayment of municipal income tax or denies a refund claim, the tax administrator shall notify the taxpayer in writing at the same time of the taxpayer's right to appeal the assessment or denial, the manner in which the taxpayer may appeal the assessment or denial, and the address to which the appeal should be directed.
(C) Any person who has been issued an assessment may appeal the assessment to the board created pursuant to this section by filing a request with the board. The request shall be in writing, shall specify the reason or reasons why the assessment should be deemed incorrect or unlawful, and shall be filed within sixty days after the taxpayer receives the assessment.
(D) The local board of tax review shall schedule a hearing to be held within sixty days after receiving an appeal of an assessment under division (C) of this section, unless the taxpayer requests additional time to prepare or waives a hearing. If the taxpayer does not waive the hearing, the taxpayer may appear before the board and may be represented by an attorney at law, certified public accountant, or other representative. The board may allow a hearing to be continued as jointly agreed to by the parties. In such a case, the hearing must be completed within one hundred twenty days after the first day of the hearing unless the parties agree otherwise.
(E) The board may affirm, reverse, or modify the tax administrator's assessment or any part of that assessment. The board shall issue a final determination on the appeal within ninety days after the board's final hearing on the appeal, and send a copy of its final determination by ordinary mail to all of the parties to the appeal within fifteen days after issuing the final determination. The taxpayer or the tax administrator may appeal the board's final determination as provided in section 5717.011 of the Revised Code.
(F) The local board of tax review created pursuant to this section shall adopt rules governing its procedures and shall keep a record of its transactions. Such records are not public records available for inspection under section 149.43 of the Revised Code. Hearings requested by a taxpayer before a local board of tax review created pursuant to this section are not meetings of a public body subject to section 121.22 of the Revised Code.
Amended by 130th General Assembly File No. TBD, HB 5, §1, eff. 3/23/2015, applicable to municipal taxable years beginning on or after 1/1/2016.
Effective Date: 09-26-2003