House bill

What is the purpose of Ohio House Bill 126?

If you are a business owner or owner, chances are that buying that property will be one of your fondest memories.

Whether it’s your first home or the location of your body shop or insurance business, the thrill and excitement of owning your property and the optimism you’ve had for creating new memories or building a thriving business is something you may have waited years to experience and look forward to in the years to come.

Now imagine that months or even years later you received a notice from your county auditor that your property taxes were going up.

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To make matters worse, you discover that your increases are for valuation dates when you didn’t even own your property.

Steve Stivers is President and CEO of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce and former U.S. Representative for Ohio's 15th Congressional District.

How would something like this happen?

Because your local school district, perhaps the one your children attend or the one where you vote for ballot drawdownsuses your tax money to dispute the value of your property in order to force you to pay even more taxes.

Following:Should public schools be able to challenge the value of your home?

What we have just described is not a hypothetical situation; this is a very real event throughout Ohio. Future owners and job creators should not experience this.

Following:Franklin County property tax bills are late again this year; payment deadline now January 31

Despite the vitriol and misleading claims of Ohio media editors and reporters, legislation recently passed by the Senate will actually limit local government abuses.

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House Bill 126 will reclaim the tax appeals process for the people it should be available to: taxpayers.

Scott Williams is the CEO of Ohio Realtors.

After receive more than $6 billion in federal funding which includes little oversight, school districts are fighting tooth and nail so they can continue to abuse options in the current law to extract even more taxpayer money from homeowners.

Following:Franklin County Auditor announces $5 million in property tax refunds to schools and others

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 “black money” collected by districts that go into district line items, out of sight of the school funding system and make districts look like they are collecting less tax revenue than they actually collect so they can get more state funding.

Following:Distrust, Misinformation, Black Money: Who’s Trying to Sway the Worthington School Board Race?

This extra money is coming out of the pockets of homeowners and businesses, and less money is going into growing Ohio’s economy.

What’s worse is that this practice also takes away funds from other tax authorities like Alcohol, drugs and mental health (ADAMH), senior services and libraries that do not engage in this abusive practice. House Bill 126 solves this problem by emphasizing taxpayer rights.

Following:Letters: ‘Colis de coquins’ responsible for the inequity of property taxes

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 subscribe to the Senate Amendments to HB 126protect 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 and former U.S. Representative for Ohio’s 15th Congressional District.