Ohio city ordered to repay $13.2 million in tax overpayments, city plans to appeal


GAHANNA, OH (WCMH) – The City of Gahanna was ordered Wednesday to repay $13.2 million to more than 17,000 taxpayers who overpaid income tax between 2008 and 2014.

About half of roughly 35,000 Gahanna residents work in other cities. According to a class action lawsuit those roughly 17,000 taxpayers overpaid city taxes from 2008-2014 because Gahanna only allows an 83% credit, not 100%, for city taxes paid elsewhere. 

Multiple lawsuits and appeals over years later a judge already ruled the total over a 5-year-period plus interest is in the millions. 

A recent ruling means Gahanna’s calculation of damages owed would be used instead of the plaintiffs.

“Based on today this was as much of a victory as they could get after having already been a little bit like The Browns being about 0-9,” said CPA Matt Leppert. 

Wednesday, Judge Kimberly Cocroft ruled that Gahanna taxpayers are entitled to a tax refund in the amount of $10,835,435.03, $654,059.85 in misapplied penalties and $1,780,163.81 in interest.

“Basically a difference of about 2.4 million dollars which was the part in dispute,” said Leppert. 

It is a win for Gahanna in determining just how much taxpayers in the class are winning back that may ultimately be a loss for all future Gahanna taxpayers.

“On the one hand I’m probably somewhat happy that there’s 2.4 million less of a deficit that’s going to have to be made up, probably by them raising my tax rate,” he said. 

No one from the city of Gahanna would go on camera or comment about the ruling but the city issued a written statement

The city released the following statement following the decision:

Today, we received a decision from the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas regarding the LaBorde v. City of Gahanna case. We are pleased that the Court has confirmed and adopted the City’s position as correct.

Now that the City’s position has been upheld by the lower court, there are several issues in the case that remain open for appeal. The City intends to appeal those issues to the Tenth District Court of Appeals and remains confident that its position will be upheld. 

Some individuals had suggested that the City settle the case for more than $16 million, which the court stated was an “unreasonable and absurd” calculation. In order to protect taxpayer money, the City wisely chose not to settle. 

The City of Gahanna remains committed to providing updates to our citizens as the case progresses through the legal process. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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