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Section 4504.22 | Annual license tax upon the operation of motor vehicles on public roads in counties participating in regional transportation improvement project.

 

(A) As used in this section:

(1) "Business" means a sole proprietorship, a corporation for profit, or a pass-through entity as defined in section 5733.04 of the Revised Code.

(2) "Owner" means a partner of a partnership, a member of a limited liability company, a majority shareholder of an S corporation, a person with a majority ownership interest in a pass-through entity, or any officer, employee, or agent with authority to make decisions legally binding upon a business.

(3) "Truck," "trailer," and "semitrailer" have the same meanings as in section 4501.01 of the Revised Code ;

(4) "Commercial trailer" means any trailer that is not a noncommercial trailer as defined in section 4501.01 of the Revised Code.

(B) The governing board of a regional transportation improvement project created under Chapter 5595. of the Revised Code may request that the board of county commissioners of each county participating in the project propose an annual license tax upon the operation of motor vehicles on public roads in the respective counties. If a governing board makes such a request, the governing board shall make the request to the boards of commissioners of all counties participating in the project. The request shall be in writing and, if the governing board adopted a resolution to allocate revenue from such taxes to fund supplemental transportation improvements as provided in division (B) of section 5595.06 of the Revised Code, shall be accompanied by a copy of the resolution adopted under that division. If the governing board intends for the taxes to apply to trucks, the request shall so state. The purposes of each of the taxes shall be to pay the costs of transportation improvements as defined by section 5595.01 of the Revised Code, to pay debt service charges on obligations issued for those purposes, to supplement other revenue already available for such purposes, and to pay the cost of enforcing and administering the tax. No such tax may be levied unless the board of commissioners of each participating county consents to propose levying the tax and a majority of electors voting on the tax in each county as provided in this section approve the resolution levying the tax in that county.

Each county's tax shall be levied in an increment of five dollars, not exceeding twenty-five dollars, per motor vehicle as determined by the governing board of the regional transportation improvement project. Commercial trailers and semitrailers shall not be subject to the tax. Trucks shall not be subject to the tax unless the governing board's request states that trucks shall be subject to the tax. If trucks are to be subject to the tax, the governing board shall proceed as required by division (D) of this section before the governing board submits its request to the boards of county commissioners under this division. The owner of each motor vehicle subject to the tax who resides in the county where the tax applies shall pay the tax levied by the board of county commissioners. The tax is in addition to all other taxes levied under this chapter and subject to reduction in the manner provided in division (B)(2) of section 4503.11 of the Revised Code. Each tax shall apply at a uniform rate throughout the county. Taxes levied under this section shall not apply to registrations for any registration year beginning before January 1, 2017. The taxes shall continue in effect until expiration or repeal or until the dissolution of the regional transportation improvement project for which the taxes are levied.

(C) If the board of commissioners of each county participating in the regional transportation improvement project consents, by resolution, to the governing board's request to levy a tax under this section, the board of commissioners of each such county shall adopt a resolution levying the tax and proposing to submit the question of the tax to the electors of the county. The resolution shall specify the rate of the tax, the date on which the tax will terminate, and, if the request of the governing board of the regional transportation improvement project indicates that a portion of the revenue will be used for supplemental transportation improvements, the portion of the tax revenue that will be used for such supplemental improvements. The rate of the tax levied in each county, the election at which the question is to be submitted, the first registration year the tax will be levied, the date on which the tax will terminate, and whether the tax applies to trucks shall be identical for all the counties.

The board of elections of each county shall submit the question of the tax to the electors at the primary or general election to be held not less than ninety days after the board of county commissioners certifies to the county board of elections its resolution proposing the tax. The secretary of state shall prescribe the form of the ballot for the election. If the question of the tax is approved by a majority of the electors voting on the question of the tax in each county, the board of county commissioners of each county shall levy the tax as provided in the resolution.

A tax shall not be levied in any of the counties participating in the regional transportation improvement project unless the majority of electors voting on the question in each of those counties approve the question. If the question of the tax is approved in each county, the board of commissioners of the most populous of such counties as determined by the most recent federal decennial census shall certify the copies of all counties' resolutions to the registrar of motor vehicles as provided in section 4504.08 of the Revised Code.

(D) If the taxes to be levied under this section would apply to the operation of trucks on public highways in the counties levying the tax, the governing board of the regional transportation improvement project that requested the levy of the taxes shall appoint a transportation advisory council. The council shall review the proposed license taxes in conjunction with the cooperative agreement for the project and determine if the agreement and taxes are in the best interests of businesses operating in the counties in which the taxes would be imposed. The governing board shall not submit a proposed tax to boards of county commissioners under division (B) of this section unless the tax is approved by the transportation advisory council or the tax does not apply to trucks.

The transportation advisory council is a public body for the purposes of section 121.22 of the Revised Code and is a public office for the purposes of section 149.43 of the Revised Code. Members of the council shall not be considered to be holding a direct or indirect interest in a contract or expenditure of money by a county or a regional transportation improvement project because of their affiliation with the council.

The transportation advisory council shall consist of one member for each county participating in the regional transportation improvement project. For each county, the governing board of the project shall first appoint an owner of the business that owns the most trucks that would be subject to the license tax if it was imposed in that county, or an individual designated by the owner to serve in the owner's place. If the owner of the business is unable or unwilling to serve on the council or to designate an individual to serve in the owner's place, the governing board shall appoint an owner of the business that owns the next most trucks that would be subject to the license tax if it was imposed in that county, or an individual designated by the owner to serve in the owner's place. The governing board shall repeat this appointment procedure until each position on the council has been filled. No business may have more than one representative on the council. If the appointment procedure results in an owner of the same business being appointed to the council more than once, the governing board shall skip that business in the appointment order in one of the participating counties and instead appoint an owner of the business that owns the next most trucks that would be subject to the license tax if it was imposed in that county, or an individual designated by the owner to serve in the owner's place. Two businesses are the same business for the purposes of this division if more than fifty per cent of the controlling interest in each of the businesses is owned by the same person or persons.

The transportation advisory council shall hold at least one public meeting before voting on whether to approve the proposed license tax or taxes. Meetings shall be held in the most populous county in which a proposed license tax would be levied. Population shall be determined by reference to the most recent federal decennial census. Attendance by a majority of the members of the council constitutes a quorum to conduct the business of the council. At the meeting, the council shall consider the question of whether the license taxes and the cooperative agreement are in the best interests of the businesses operating in the counties in which the taxes would be imposed. In considering this question, the council shall allow the governing board, or a representative thereof, the opportunity to present testimony on the license taxes and the cooperative agreement. The council also shall allow time, during the meeting or meetings, for public comment on the license tax or taxes and the cooperative agreement. The council may hold an executive session in the manner provided in and subject to the limitations of section 122.22 of the Revised Code.

If the council, by majority vote of the membership of the council, determines that the license taxes and the cooperative agreement are in the best interests of the businesses operating within counties in which the tax would be levied, the governing board may submit requests to the appropriate boards of county commissioners that the license tax be placed on the ballot in accordance with division (C) of this section. If the council does not approve the license taxes and the cooperative agreement, the council shall provide recommendations to the governing board for ways in which the proposed license taxes and the cooperative agreement may be modified to meet the approval of the council. Such recommendations shall be in writing and shall be sent to the governing board within fourteen days after the vote of the council on the license taxes and the cooperative agreement.

The transportation advisory council shall dissolve by operation of law upon approving a license tax proposal under this division.

The governing board shall make appropriations as are necessary to pay the costs incurred by the council in the exercise of its functions under this division.

(E) The registrar of motor vehicles shall deposit revenue from each of the taxes levied under this section that is received by the registrar under section 4504.09 of the Revised Code in the local motor vehicle license tax fund created by section 4501.031 of the Revised Code. The registrar shall distribute the revenue from each tax to the appropriate board of county commissioners. The registrar may assign to each board of county commissioners a unique code to facilitate the distribution of the revenue, which may be the same unique code assigned to that county under section 4501.03 of the Revised Code. The board of county commissioners then shall pay the money to the governing board of the regional transportation improvement project that requested that the question of the levying of the tax be placed on the ballot.

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