We Must Support Our Property Taxpayers- Why I am Running for State Rep.
Our seniors and property tax payers deserve more than what they're getting. I decided to run for State Representative after serving as County Auditor for 5 years because I could not continue telling our taxpayers someone else should fix their problems when I knew they would not be heard by Columbus. In Ashtabula County all of my residents have my cell phone and direct office number and they call regularly to ask questions. I call each one of them back, because that is what you pay me to do.
Every week I speak with a senior citizen on a fixed income who can no longer afford their rising property taxes. The best I presently can do is educate, push out information, and share about low tax credits the state allows for, and hope for the best. I can no longer stand on the side lines and watch my residents not being served by their state elected leaders.
We must have people in Columbus who know Ohio’s property tax system, know about taxpayer needs, and realize that Ohio does not have a property value problem, Ohio has a property tax and spend problem. I testified in support of HB 57 this year to tie the Homestead benefit to inflation, that was just one small step to help our seniors but we must do so much more.
Ohio’s County Auditors have shared many ideas with the Legislature, and continue to recommend changes to help everyday property owners. These include limiting 20 Mill floor revenue to inflation for schools, adjusting the owner occupancy and homestead credit to a sizable savings helping those who own their home and live in it, giving county budget commissions more authority to limit local government levy amounts, and limiting exemptions which increase the tax rate on other taxpayers.
As Ohio has significantly cut income tax, our seniors have not seen this benefit. In reality, as the savings shift has moved to local governments, seniors are facing higher burdens. We must significantly increase the Homestead credit and increase eligibility for the program.
We also as a state must look at diversifying the revenue stream for local governments and doing something we all agree on- protecting our seniors. The most essential services government provides is at the local level. Property owners, and in turn our seniors, should not have to bear this burden on their own.