House Bill 75 was passed by the Ohio House with a vote of 54-39. HB 75 now moves to the Ohio Senate for consideration. HB 75 was reported out of the House Ways and Means Committee back in the spring and some of the bill’s language was added to the House version of the state budget. That language ultimately was removed from the budget.
Currently, Ohio is only one of a handful of states that allow a third party to initiate complaints against real property owners. This means that, whether you as a property owner agree or not with your property’s assessed value as determined by your county auditor, a local government entity can file a complaint challenging that value. This means you’ll be forced to spend time and money defending against these complaints and, ultimately, may end up paying more in taxes.
Earlier this year the Ohio Chamber testified in support of HB 75 while it was under consideration by the House Ways and Means Committee. HB 75 requires a local governmental entity to seek local board or legislative approval before a complaint is filed against a real property owner. Most complaints contest the valuation of real property set by the county auditor. The bill also requires the board or legislative body to send a notice to the real property owner at least 14 days before action is taken on the request to file a complaint.
HB 75 provides a more uniform process of notification to the property owner. It also adds a layer of transparency and accountability before a complaint process starts. This new process could open up a two-way channel of communication between the property owner and local officials. This should afford the parties an opportunity to clear up any simple misunderstandings before a costly complaint process is undertaken. The Ohio Chamber thanks the bill sponsor, Representative Merrin, for all the work he put in to get the bill to the floor for a vote. HB 75 will help to address one of the Ohio Chamber’s public priorities – the improvement of the tax review process to ensure an efficient and fair tax system.