COLUMBUS – The Ohio House of Representatives has approved State Representative Derek Merrin’s legislation to make local property tax ballot issues simpler and easier to understand.

Language voters find on their ballots describing local levy proposals is outdated and confusing. That would change under House Bill 76.

“When Ohioans vote, they shouldn’t need a calculator to figure out what they’re voting on. The language describing a proposed levy should be clear, concise and easy to understand. That’s common sense – and that’s what this plan does,” Merrin said.

Merrin (R-Monclova Township) said that beginning in 1939, state law required millage to be expressed in a dollar amount related to $100 of property value – a great idea, given the complexities of the way property tax millage is calculated. Unfortunately, he added, state law hasn’t kept up with the times and has become antiquated.

Merrin’s bill would require ballot language and election notices to convey a proposed property tax levy’s rate in dollars for each $100,000 of a property’s fair market value, instead of in dollars for each $100 of taxable value.

“This is not only easier to understand, but it is consistent with how news outlets and levy campaign supporters often describe a levy proposal,” Merrin said.

The bill would also require ballot language and election notices to include an estimate of how much the levy would collect annually.

Similar language was included in the state budget earlier this year, but later vetoed by Governor Mike DeWine.

House Bill 76, which was approved 54-39, now goes to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.

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