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School leaders say a bill to change the property tax appeal process could hurt most Ohio taxpayers

WOSU

State lawmakers have sent a bill to Gov. Mike DeWine that would limit the role of school districts and cities in the property tax challenge process. School districts contend if those changes are signed into law, the result will be a tax shifting that will hurt the majority of taxpayers.

For more than four decades, local school districts have been able to challenge owners whose properties are believed to be undervalued for tax purposes. It’s often commercial property owners who are challenged because residential properties generate less tax revenue in comparison.

Republicans who testified for this new bill in the Ohio Legislature have said school districts often abuse that process. So this bill, which limits how school districts can challenge property values at local boards of revisions, is meant to remedy that situation.

The Ohio School Boards Association’s Will Schwartz warns this bill will mean less tax revenue for schools. And he says someone will end up paying for the loss.

“Which taxpayer is being protected? Is it the homeowner whose property is now protected from the new restrictions in the law or is it the all of the other homeowners who will have to pay more in taxes to subsidize their neighbor’s undervalued property?” said Schwartz.

The final bill would ban districts from appealing county board of revision decisions to the state. It also shortens the time frame for appeals and increases the minimum amount they can challenge.

It's now up to DeWine to decide whether to sign the bill into law.

Copyright 2022 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.