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Ohio property tax reduction plan moves ahead

By J.D. Davidson
The Center Square

A plan to lower Ohio property taxes continues to progress despite county auditors calling it a knee-jerk reaction in real estate prices.

Despite the County Auditors Association of Ohio’s objections, legislation allowing the state Department of Taxation to use a three-year average of property taxes continues to be on a fast track.

After taking only three weeks to pass the House, House Bill 187 had its first hearing in the Senate. A second hearing has not been announced.

“This commonsense bill will protect vulnerable Ohioans from drastic increases in property taxes,” Rep. Thomas Hall, R-Madison Township, told the Senate Ways and Means Committee. “It is my responsibility to protect my constituents and I will continue paving the way on property tax reform.”

The bill quickly became a reality after recent projections of steep property tax increases in 13 counties.

“The Ohio Homeowners Relief Act will provide some relief to Ohioans who have concerns about paying for their basic needs as a result of historic property valuation increases,” said Bird. “I look forward to additional hearings in the Senate as we work to provide much-needed relief to Ohioans.”

County auditors, though, question the need to change a process that has been in place for 100 years.

“[Franklin County] Auditor [Michael] Stinziano has eloquently laid out the implications and the challenges in artificially adjusting a century-long process of valuation in a knee-jerk reaction to the current real estate market,” the auditors’ association testified. "Abandoning the well-established standards of mass appraisal and replacing them with the provisions of HB187 would create significant discrepancies in equity and diminish the trust that our residents have in the valuation process."

The group also blamed the rise in residential property taxes on the General Assembly’s elimination of properties – hospitals, agriculture land and parcel exemptions – subject to property taxes while not reducing requirements or need for municipalities as a reason for increases.

“We cannot complain about the increase in property tax burden on Ohio residents without acknowledging that we as leaders are in part responsible,” the association said. "For decades nearly every General Assembly has methodically reduced the properties subject to local taxation without reducing the need of local governments. This shift has resulted in more and more levies passing and the burden being put squarely on the shoulders of residential homeowners."

A recent report from the Tax Foundation ranked Ohio fifth in the country in terms of property taxes, but that didn’t help the state in its overall tax climate ranking from the Tax Foundation.

Ohio ranked well below average at 36th in the index, which authors say is designed to show how well states structure tax systems and give a path for improvement.


David A. Mayer (not verified)

30 November 2023

Why should property taxes go up based on a three year review? The current increase in property values is an aberration. A windfall for local governments to add more administrators. A good example is the addition of a Human Resource Manager and of course staff. How did they manage for years without this position and staff. When property values drop, how fast will the assessed values drop? Probably much slower.

Sherry Rea (not verified)

28 December 2023

I live in Franklin County and are property tax bills went up tremendously. Also so did the 15 year tax abatements. For those of us on fixed incomes and senior citizens we still have the burden of paying for school levies to a top heavy in administrator Columbus Public School system. The same school system that has plenty of unused schools that sit empty. This system is antiquated and only as usual helps the rich. For the average low to middle class homeowner who has worked their entire life to live out the American dream in their retirement years that have to worry about be able to afford paying the property taxes. Who are these folks that vote for the tax increases. I know a lot of folks that vote no on these levies simply because they can't afford more taxes and they are tired of funding mismanaged money. Thank you Rep. Thomas Hall for looking out for us.

c.j. stewart (not verified)

14 February 2024

As a retired senior citizen of Ohio and Franklin County, I have felt for the longest time how it is unconstitutional it appears that property owners are the only ones barring this burden of funding these schools that are producing more and more "uneducated 12 year graduates" every year, misusing funds, trashing unused books or reusable items on a regular basis. It HAS been ruled as such by our Supreme Court, and yet our elected officials continue to let these expenses force us out of our homes! How do you let a School Broad that is failing its students and community even ask for a levy INCREASE soooo, high when it has already mis- appropriated the funds from its last increase.! And stop telling people who don't own property that passing these levies won't affect you actually believe a Landlord can afford to keep "eating" those property tax increases without increasing rental fees??? And the Auditor, reevaluating properties, surrounded by homes that are now being RENTED and not forced to keep the property up according city ordinances, for "Pipe Dream" high, that one can't afford to pay a house note, the property taxes, utilities AND put food on the table let alone buy a bed to sleep in. If it's tax you must, then it is long overdue for Franklin County to impose a School Tax so Every taxpayer is responsible for funding schools, even those who have children in school. Personally, the Board and the Library played Franklin Cty well, holding out one more year, to let the Auditor do his thing and let the "WEED LOVERS" get their issue on the ballot so they can just show up to vote YES on ANY and EVERYTHING without knowing what they were voting for! And just in case you didn't know it , those were ONGOING levys...when the Auditor increases the values again those taxes will increase by the same %% right along with them, without anybody having to ask again for an increase! Is this taxation without representation for homeowners??? Welcome to America!!!!

Mrs. Dillon (not verified)

17 April 2024

Doubling the values of our homes to increase taxes is wrong! Investors trying to buy our homes, retired seniors like myself live on a fixed income won’t sale, so in turn we are taxed outrageously to try and force us out of our homes. We should be like states such as Tennessee and not pay no property taxes and everyone contributes sales tax to cover all these tax issues. This way everyone has a part in paying for school levies, property taxes, etc. Why did Upper Arlington, Dublin and Bexley property taxes go down but yet the poor/low income Far Southside property taxes went up double to triple? Mayor Ginther and Franklin County Auditor Michael Stinziano needs to work for the good of Franklin County to keep senior citizens in our homes instead of taxing us out of our homes and leading us into Section 8 housing.

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