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Protecting property owners: Ohio REALTORS support HB 344

Protecting property owners: Ohio REALTORS support HB 344

Apr 25, 2024

By Anastasia Kotkovskaya, Ohio REALTORS Manager, Advocacy and Research

Ohio REALTORS submitted written testimony to the Ohio House Ways and Means Committee in support of House Bill (HB) 344, legislation addressing critical issues related to property tax levies and seeking to bring transparency and fairness to Ohio’s tax system.

Many Ohioans perceive replacement and renewal levies as interchangeable when these issues appear on the ballot. A renewal levy extends an existing levy without increasing the tax burden of property owners. Conversely, a replacement levy recalculates taxes based on updated property values, often resulting in higher taxes for property owners. HB 344 would simplify the types of levies that appear before votes by removing the authority of political subdivisions to levy replacement property tax levies, beginning with elections held on or after October 1, 2024.  

HB 344 additionally addresses a crucial issue by closing loopholes that have been exploited in legislation enacted during the previous General Assembly, specifically HB 126.

Current law, with provisions from HB 126, allow local governments to file complaints challenging property valuations through the Board of Revision (BOR) process. The underlying objective of this bill was to boost property tax revenue by capitalizing on higher property valuations; however, a few public entities have started using treasurers or attorneys to file complaints as individual property owners to generate more property tax revenue. If enacted, HB 344 will effectively close this loophole, ensuring that protections outlined by HB 126 are enforced as initially intended by the Ohio General Assembly.

Ohio REALTORS firmly supports HB 344 and its provisions, recognizing the critical importance of reducing confusion surrounding certain tax levies and protecting property owners from exploitation. The committee will continue to deliberate this important legislation, with House floor deliberation and Senate considerations to follow.

Additional information about HB 344 can be found through the following link: House Bill 344 | 135th General Assembly | Ohio Legislature  


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