Following Victory in Columbus Tax Case, The Buckeye Institute Files New Tax Lawsuit Against City of Cleveland

Apr 08, 2021

Columbus, OH – Following its victory in Denison v. Kilgore, The Buckeye Institute filed a new lawsuit on behalf of Manal Morsy—a Pennsylvania resident—asking for the court to declare unconstitutional an Ohio law that allows the city of Cleveland, Ohio to tax her income even though she does not live in Cleveland—or even the State of Ohio—and has not worked in Cleveland for more than a year.

“Dr. Morsy has not set foot in the State of Ohio since March 2020, but she is forced to pay income tax to the city of Cleveland—a city more than 400 miles from her home—as well as to her hometown of Blue Bell, Pennsylvania,” said Jay Carson, senior litigator at The Buckeye Institute’s Legal Center and an attorney for Dr. Morsy. “This continuing violation of the United States and Ohio constitutions offends the basic principles of fairness and equity and The Buckeye Institute urges the courts to bring an end to this modern day form of taxation without representation.”

Dr. Morsy lives in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, outside of Philadelphia. Prior to the pandemic, she commuted to her workplace in Cleveland, spent the week there working, and returned home to Pennsylvania on weekends. Since March of 2020, however, she has worked exclusively from her home in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania. Dr. Morsy’s suit was filed in Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas.

This new suit follows close on the heels of a significant victory for The Buckeye Institute on behalf of taxpayers in Denison v. Kilgore. In that case, the city of Columbus acknowledged that Buckeye’s client, Eric Denison of Westerville, was owed a full refund on the taxes he was forced to pay to the city while he was working outside of the city at the instruction of his employer. “The Buckeye Institute is glad that the city of Columbus acknowledged that its ability to tax nonresidents indeed has limits,” said Jay Carson, senior litigator at The Buckeye Institute’s Legal Center and Mr. Denison’s attorney. “We are hopeful that courts in Buckeye’s remaining cases, including the one filed today, will recognize—as the Ohio Supreme Court has—that a city can only tax nonresidents for work that is actually performed in the city.”

The Buckeye Institute has filed four similar cases representing citizens across Ohio—Buckeye v. Kilgore filed in Franklin County in July 2020; Denison v. Kilgore filed in Franklin County in February 2021, Schaad v. Alder filed in Hamilton County in February 2021, and Curcio v. Hufford filed in Lucas County in March 2021. The Buckeye Institute has also filed an amicus brief in New Hampshire v. Massachusetts calling on the U.S. Supreme Court to protect Granite Staters from unconstitutional taxation by Massachusetts.

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