Derek Merrin is serving his fourth term after being appointed in 2016. He represents the 42nd District, which includes the southwestern portion of Lucas County.
In the 134th General Assembly, Merrin served as the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. He is a strong advocate for lower taxes, simplifying the tax code, and promoting transparency. He previously served as Chairman of the House Health Committee where he advocated for policies to reduce healthcare costs, promote price transparency, and ensure better patient access through fewer regulations.
He successfully repealed the sales tax on prescription eyewear saving taxpayers $45 million annually (HB116) and repealed the Financial Institution Tax on Small Business Investment Companies (HB 592). He prevailed in his pursuit of the Epinephrine Accessibility Act (HB 101) and the Down Syndrome Non-Discrimination Act (HB 214). He also simplified the process for homeowners to challenge their property value (HB 118). Additionally, in 2019, Merrin’s Fuel Tax Transparency Act requiring stickers on fuel pumps displaying the state and federal fuel taxes became law through the Transportation Budget (HB 62).
In 2020, Merrin successfully sponsored the Anthony Dia Act (760) making it easier for children and spouses of law enforcement and military service members killed in the line of duty to access college tuition waivers. He also won a victory to expand the Forever Buckeye Program (HB 371) to ensure those earning a GED in Ohio had the same access to in-state tuition benefits that other students had when moving back to Ohio. Furthermore, his Theft Victims’ Restitution Act (HB 66) made it easier for victims of theft to recover restitution for accounting costs incurred when determining their financial losses.
In 2021, Merrin successfully changed the law providing Ohioans an option to choose an eight-year driver’s license rather than a four-year license, significantly reducing needed visits to the BMVs throughout Ohio. He also successfully reduced mortgage lenders’ tax burden (HB 150), believed to be the highest in the nation at the time.
In 2022, Merrin’s Ballot Uniformity and Transparency Act (HB 140) became law making it easier for voters to understand the fiscal impact of tax and bond levies. He also reformed Ohio’s Board of Revision law (HB 126), which limits the power of local governments to challenge property values to increase property taxes on property owners.
In 2023, Merrin succeeded in establishing a permanent vehicle registration option for non-commercial trailers, which saves time and costs for the state owners of 600,000 trailers (HB23).
After a five-year push, Merrin pushed through the Affordable Homebuilding & Housing Act, which blocks property tax increases on subdivided lots until the home is built or lot is sold. In the state budget, Merrin spearheaded the requirement for school counselors to receive educational training at construction trades facilities to become knowledgeable about in-demand jobs. Also, he won on a measure to prohibit municipalities from levying income tax on minors’ income (HB 33).
Merrin holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Toledo and a Master of Public Administration degree from Bowling Green State University.
At the age of 19, he became a council member for Waterville City Council, and two years later, at the age of 21, he was elected Mayor of Waterville. He served as Mayor from 2008-2011.
Merrin makes his home in Monclova Township. He is an enthusiastic Bengals fan and a real estate investor. He played basketball for his high school, Monclova Christian Academy.