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Ohio lawmakers take aim at growing property taxes

By J.D. Davidson
The Center Square

As property valuations and property taxes continue to rise throughout Ohio, Republican and Democratic lawmakers in the state House and Senate have introduced multiple bills to lower both.

Two bills in the General Assembly would likely reduce property taxes across the state. One, a Democratic proposal, caps annual property tax increases at 5% for some. The second GOP plan would force the Department of Taxation to use a three-year average of property values to determine taxes.

“We are fighting diligently for the taxpayers of Ohio,” Sen. George Lang, R-West Chester, said at a news conference.

Lang’s plan, Senate Bill 153, teams with House Bill 187, which passed the House earlier this week and removes the option of the Department of Taxation to take either a one-year look or a three-year average at property values.

It would also sunset after three years, which Lang says forces lawmakers to reexamine property tax valuations.

If the state would have looked at a three-year currently, a 44% increase in property taxes in Butler County would have been 23%, Lang said.

Sen. Hearcel Craig, D-Columbus, wants to cap property tax increases at 5% annually for homeowners with incomes at or below the county median income.

“We are in the midst of a housing crisis in Ohio, and the need for a solution to the problem of rising property taxes has never been more urgent,” Craig said. “This legislation will provide much-needed relief and help our most vulnerable Ohioans. Our goal for Ohio is to continue to provide ladders of opportunity for all of our residents and to keep people in their homes, especially our older residents so they can age in place.”

Craig said at least 31 states have some type of property tax circuit breaker, while 14 states limit assessed value growth.

Both bills are in Senate committees.

Both pieces of legislation come a week after another bill was introduced in the House that would freeze property taxes for those 70 years old and older, as previously reported by The Center Square.

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