State Rep. Daniel P. Troy (D- Willowick) issued a statement today urging further hearings on House Bill (HB) 207, his legislation to update Ohio’s Homestead Tax Exemption program. Rep. Troy says his bill would go further to help keep elderly Ohioans and those with disabilities in their homes than the more limited legislation announced today by Republican Reps. LaRe and Stephens.
HB 207 would:
- Increase the income amount at or below a homeowner can apply for the exemption from its current $34,200 to $37,500 in annual income;
- Increase the taxable value exemption from $25,000 to $31,200;
- Index the property value exempted so that it is annually adjusted for inflation.
“As our state’s population rapidly ages, property tax reform and relief should be one of our foremost public policy objectives. Ohio can surely afford to help our older citizens who have contributed so much over their lives for the common good and welfare of our state,” said Rep. Troy. “While I’m glad my Republican colleagues are now on board with this goal, the fact is we didn’t need their bill when my bill that does this and more to help elderly Ohioans and those with disabilities stay in their homes and save for essential necessities. HB 207 has already had two hearings. We need it to be the vehicle to deliver this relief to our citizens.”
Ohio voters approved a constitutional amendment permitting a homestead exemption that reduced property taxes for lower income Ohioans 65 years or older back in 1970. In 2007, the General Assembly temporarily expanded the program to include all homeowners who were either 65 or older or permanently and totally disabled regardless of their income. Also eliminated at that time was the tiered benefits eligibility that spelled out differing amounts of deductibility, and replacing that with a fixed deductibility of $25,000 in value.
In the 2013 budget bill, and effective in 2014, eligibility was returned to an income limit of $30,000 or less to achieve that $25,000 reduction. Those receiving it regardless of income from 2008-2013 were grandfathered and continue to receive that reduction.
Rep. Troy noted that his proposal was modest and fiscally responsible. The proposal is targeted to bring some needed relief to older Ohioans and disabled citizens on lower fixed incomes that want to stay in their homes.
HB 207 awaits further hearings in the House Ways and Means Committee.