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Ohio House Passes Bill Clarifying Tax Levy Ballot Language

June 21, 2018
Derek Merrin News

COLUMBUS—The Ohio House passed State Representative Derek Merrin’s (R-Monclova Township) legislation setting new standards for ballot language to describe tax levies and bond issues on a ballot. House Bill 342 gives voters a better understanding of how much a tax levy will actually cost a taxpayer.

“Ballot language must be transparent, clear, and relevant,” said Representative Merrin. “Our bill ensures tax millage is expressed based on $100,000 market value not on $100 taxable value. Voters should not need to bring a calculator with them to vote.”

Current law requires tax levies to be described in terms of both mills and taxable value. However, the mills system is difficult to understand and taxable value is not market value, which further confuses voters. This is why a dollar amount based on a reasonable market value of property is so important. The media and local governments already commonly express the impact of a levy based on $100,000 of market value, but ballot language has not been updated to reflect modern times.

House Bill 342 now awaits further consideration by the Ohio Senate.