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To:          School board members, superintendents, treasurers and other school business officials

From:      Jay Smith, OSBA — (614) 540-4000
               Tom Ash, BASA — (614) 846-4080
               Barbara Shaner, OASBO — (614) 325-9562

 

Re:          House committee passes HB 343 and HB 371 — Action needed!

 

The House Ways and Means Committee voted today to recommend Amended House Bill (HB) 343 and Amended HB 371 for consideration by the full House. Our three organizations oppose both bills.

 

Please contact your legislators to express opposition to these bills!

 

HB 343

Even though the committee’s version of the bill includes changes to the original proposal, we do not support the new requirements in the bill. HB 343 would require school districts to:

 

  • Notify property owners that the district is considering a board of revision filing to request an increase in the taxable value of the property. If the taxing address is different from the property address, notices must be sent to both.
  • After notifying property owners, boards of education must pass a resolution naming all the properties where the board intends to challenge values after notification is made and before a filing can occur.

 

Following are talking points for opposition to HB 343:

  • The board of revision already is required to notify the property owner when values are challenged.
  • The unfunded mandate for notification will add unnecessary costs to school districts and taxpayers.
  • The required advance notice of the property owner before the board of education votes to challenge property values will make the board’s decision more political.
  • HB 343 opens the process to become politicized by giving property owners the ability to pressure the board not to challenge property values prior to board action. This could remove all objectivity from the process.
  • Ohio law is clear: A property’s sale price is the best determiner of the property’s value. Therefore, challenges based on sales are reasonably evident, and no purpose is served by a property owner urging the board of education not to file a claim.

 

HB 371

This bill authorizes a tax exemption or freeze in the value of land in the pre-residential development stage and reduces property taxes for land purchased for residential development purposes.

  • Specifically, the exemption applies to any subdivided, unimproved parcel on which construction of residential buildings (single- or multi-family dwellings) is planned but has not started.
  • The bill specifies that residential construction is not deemed to have begun solely on the basis of streets, sidewalks, curbs, driveways, or water, sewer or other utility lines having been constructed or installed.

 

Talking points for HB 371:

  • HB 371 has the potential to substantially reduce property taxes for local governments and schools, especially in urban and suburban areas where the issuance of residential building permits is concentrated.
  • In some cases, this loss could require other taxpayers to pay more than their fair share.
    • Levy millage rates are set based on the total valuation of the school district. If some properties are undervalued at the time a levy is passed, the millage rate set for the levy must be higher than necessary in order to raise the funds requested by the district.
    • This means property owners whose real property is set at a fair value, will pay more than necessary.
  • There also would be a freeze or foregone revenue on the inside mills, resulting in a loss of funds as well; it is not just a tax shift.

 

Important links

Organizations’ memo on amended HB 343

Joint opposition testimony from organizations representing schools and local governments

Access to legislator contact information

 

 

 

Ohio School Boards Association
8050 N High St, Suite 100
Columbus, OH 43235

http://www.ohioschoolboards.org


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