By Frank Lewis
Portsmouth City Council has another busy evening scheduled for Monday’s regular meeting. Council will continue the task of clearing up the codified ordinances of the city, giving third reading to eight items, and ordinance authorizing approval of the preliminary legislation submitted by the Ohio Department of Transportation proposing the need for bridge inspection program services, then give second reading to an ordinance appropriating $8,000 for a new copier for the City Health Department.
In addition, first reading will be given an ordinance authorizing approval of preliminary legislation submitted by ODOT proposing the need for an overlay project on the U.S. Grant Bridge and authorize the appropriation of $2,500 to support the Buckeye Elite Event Management Holiday Classic Basketball Tournament.
Council will also give first reading to three resolutions. The first will be a resolution accepting the amounts and rates as determined by the Budget Commission of Scioto County, authorizing the necessary tax levies and certifying those to the Scioto County Auditor.
The second resolution is on that authorizes the city to prepare and submit an application to participate in the Ohio Public Works Commission State Capital Improvement and/or local transportation improvement program or programs and to execute the contracts as required.
The final resolution deals with legislation proposed by First Ward Councilman Kevin W. Johnson. It calls for Portsmouth City Council to endorse legislation to exempt textbooks from the Ohio Sales Tax.The introduction of the legislation was not without comment.
“All the things we’ve done in the past had to do with things that were directly related to the city of Portsmouth, like the city income tax,” Portsmouth City Manager Derek K. Allen said. “This, at first glance, doesn’t appear to have anything to do with us. We don’t get sales tax.”
Johnson reflected that City Council has dealt with other statewide issues in the past.
“As far as I’m concerned it’s important to a large group of people who live here,” Johnson said.
After more discussion, Council chose to bring the endorsement forward and it will be considered Monday evening.
The legislation to exempt textbooks from Ohio Sales Tax was introduced by State Representative Mike Duffey, chairman of the House Finance Education Subcommittee and Representative Michael Stinziano. County sales tax is not affected by the legislation should the state pass it.
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.