The OLC testified today before the Senate General Government and Agency Review Committee in opposition to HB 76. This complicated bill would change the required ballot language and the resolutions to place an issue on the ballot. It could make it more difficult for libraries to pass levies. The proposed changes in HB 76 are intended to allow voters to better understand the effects a proposed levy will have on their property taxes. However, the OLC, along with schools and other local government organizations, believe the changes in HB 76 will actually cause confusion and misunderstanding by voters.
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Derek Merrin (R-Monclova Township), proposes conveying a property tax levy’s rate in dollars for each $100,000 of fair market value instead of in dollars for each $100 of taxable value. The bill also requires election notices and ballot language to display the estimated amount the levy would collect annually, and would prohibit any portion of a property tax question from being printed on the ballot in boldface type or with differing font size.
HB 76 uses the same language that was included in the state’s biennial budget bill, but was line-item vetoed by Gov. Mike DeWine last summer. He warned that it had the potential to confuse rather than clarify.
A transcript of today’s testimony is available on the OLC website
. The OLC will continue to monitor this bill and provide updates.