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Politics & Government

Bill To Reform Tax Complaint Process Passes Ohio Senate

Rep Derek Merrin testifies on the Ohio House floor.
Ohio Legislature
Rep Derek Merrin testifies on the Ohio House floor.

The Ohio Senate has passed a bill that would limit the way local governments contest property values when assessing taxes. It’s being hailed as a win for property owners who believe they are paying too much, but it’s also prompting warnings that it could end up increasing taxes for many.

Republican Rep. Derek Merrin (R-Monclova Township) who introduced the bill said it is fairer to property owners who are challenging their tax bills by giving them more voice in that process. “We will show more respect to property owners in this state,” said Merrin.

Republican Sen. Lou Blessing III (R-Coletrain Township) describes the bill that changes the process of challenging property taxes as, “A bill that brings balance to the property valuation complaint and challenge process.”

Franklin County Auditor Mike Stinziano said some of the changes skew the appraisal and revision process. “If that appraised value isn’t captured correctly, it has the consequence of other property owners having to make up that difference,” said Stinziano.

Stinziano said that might mean higher property taxes. The House now has to approve the Senate’s changes to the bill.