The Ohio Chamber testified today in the House Ways & Means Committee to support House Bill 126. HB 126 is the 134th General Assembly version of HB 75 offered by Representative Merrin during the 133rd General Assembly. The Ohio Chamber supports the effort to bring transparency before a third-party files a complaint on the valuation of a taxpayer’s real property.
Currently, Ohio is only one of a handful of states that allow a school district to initiate complaints against the value of individual parcels of land previously reviewed and determined by the local county auditor. 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, typically a local school district, can file a complaint challenging that value. This means you will be forced to spend time and money defending against these complaints and, ultimately, may end up paying more in taxes.
HB 126 requires a local governmental entity to seek local board or legislative approval before a complaint is filed against a real property owner. 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 126 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.
HB 126 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.