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Senate passes bill to impact Ohio property taxes

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(The Center Square) – More senior citizens can immediately catch a property tax break if the Ohio House of Representatives agrees with the Senate.

The House, which is not scheduled to be in session again until Tuesday, has a chance to concur with Senate changes to House Bill 187 that increases the property tax exemption and income limit for seniors and disabled veterans.

“We took a step in the right direction by prioritizing significant property tax relief for those most vulnerable and in the greatest need of help right now,” said Sen. Mark Romanchuk, R-Ontario. “I have heard from my constituents and understand there is a keen need for greater property tax relief across the board. There is a lot more we can do to accomplish that and Ohioans can be sure we will work hard to achieve this goal.”

The Senate version contains an emergency clause to allow it to go into effect immediately if signed by Gov. Mike DeWine.

To qualify for a homestead exemption, a household must have income at or below $75,000 and one of the homeowners must be 65 years old or older. Someone can be permanently or totally disabled or the surviving spouse of someone who qualified and is at least 59 years old.

Under the proposed bill, those exemptions would increase based on income levels for the next three years.

The bill also temporarily increased the amount of all property tax exemptions and reimburses school districts for half the losses of the expansion. That money would come from the state’s General Fund.

Currently, the state fully reimburses cities and schools for homestead exemption losses.

Also, the bill would only allow the State Department of Taxation to recommend property tax values to county auditors, rather than having the authority to set those values across the state.

The House-passed version of the bill allows the state to use a three-year average of property taxes to assess value.

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