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
DATE: March 20, 2018
Re: Contacts Needed Immediately on HB 343!
House Bill (HB) 343 has been scheduled for a vote on the House floor tomorrow, Wednesday, March 21. The session begins at 1:30 p.m. We urge members to contact their own House members and the speaker’s office urging a “no” vote on HB 343 prior to the session.
HB 343 places new requirements on school districts before they are permitted to file challenges (counter-claims) with a county board of revisions when property values are set too low. We believe the intent of the bill is to discourage districts from filing such challenges. See below for information about the bill and our sample opposition talking points.
Contacts are important even if you have communicated your opposition in the past. We hope to make it difficult for lawmakers to vote in support of the bill.
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.
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