(The Center Square) – Ohio homeowners could see a change in how governments evaluate property taxes if the Senate follows the House’s lead.
The bill forcing the Ohio Department of Taxation to use a three-year average of property values to determine taxes took only three weeks from introduction to passage in the House.
Senate Bill 153, a companion piece of legislation to House Bill 187, had its fourth hearing in the Senate Ways and Means Committee earlier this week. No opposition has testified, and no vote has been taken.
“This common sense bill will protect vulnerable Ohioans and provide peace of mind to those who have concerns about paying for necessities, such as groceries, as a result of property tax increases,” Rep. Thomas Hall, R-MadisonTownship, said during his floor speech. “Let’s keep Ohioans in their homes and make our state a better place to live.”
Both bills came after an Ohio county auditor blamed state government for a 40% increase in property values, as previously reported by The Center Square.
Butler County Auditor Nancy Nix also said school districts and local taxing entities do not have to collect more taxes as property values increase.
She wants those local governments that receive inflationary increases in unvoted millage to accept the increased amounts the new property values would generate to give the General Assembly time to change property tax law.
Rep. Rodney Creech, R-West Alexandria, called the legislation a direct response to what happened in Butler County and other areas across the state.
“Butler County is among several Ohio counties where the tax commissioner is recommending a 42% increase on property value and a 110% increase on farmland,” Creech said. “If these increases came to fruition, most Ohioans would suffer. We must take steps to protect our home and landowners.”
Also in the Legislature is a bill that would freeze property taxes for Ohioans 70 and older, along with legislation that would cap annual property tax increases at 5% for some people.
Each of those bills is still in committee.