After receiving more than $6 billion in federal funding that includes little oversight, school districts are fighting tooth and nail to be able to continue to abuse options in the current law to extract even more taxpayer money from homeowners. Their aggressive tactics scare away investment in Ohio and can cause homeowners to pay taxes on homes they didn’t even own, and add unnecessary costs to homeownership. It really is that simple.
The current system creates “dark money” collected by districts that is hidden in district line items, out of sight of the school funding system, and gives the impression that districts are collecting less tax revenue than what is expected. ‘they actually collect so they can get more funding from the state. This extra money is coming out of the pockets of homeowners and businesses, and less money is going into growing Ohio’s economy. What is worse is that this practice also takes away funds from other tax authorities like ADAMH, elder services and libraries that do not engage in this abusive practice. House Bill 126 solves this problem by emphasizing taxpayer rights.
Ohio needs to roll back aggressive school districts. School districts need to stay on track and get back to educating kids. Ohio is one of the few states in the country to allow these aggressive tactics by school districts after the assessment is established by a county auditor. We should not tolerate, or allow, local government officials to challenge the decisions of other local government officials to obtain additional public funds at the expense of hard-working, retired Ohioans.
We encourage the Ohio House to approve the Senate amendments to HB 126, to protect our state’s taxpayers, and bring Ohio into the mainstream of property tax administration.
Scott Williams is the CEO of Ohio Realtors. Steve Stivers is President and CEO of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce.