Legislation will continue homestead exemption tax break

By MARC KOVAC @ohiocapitalblog mkovac@dixcom.com Published:

COLUMBUS -- Homeowners who received a break on their property taxes under the state's prior homestead exemption law will continue to do so, even if they move, under legislation OK'd by lawmakers Wednesday.

House Bill 311 passed the Senate on a unanimous 33-0 vote; pending House concurrence, it will head to the governor's office for his expected signature.

The Homestead Exemption provides a break on property tax bills, saving eligible homeowners an average of $400 a year.

Under Gov. Ted Strickland, the exemption was widened to cover all seniors age 65 and older.

The Republican-controlled legislature and Gov. John Kasich changed that earlier this year as part of a larger reform package that included an income tax cut and a sales tax increase.

Existing property owners retained their eligibility, but new ones now must earn less than $30,000 a year to qualify.

HB 311 clarifies the law change to exclude existing owners who move to different properties; they will carry the exemption with them to their new residences.

According to an analysis by the state's Legislative Service Commission, "The recipient retains grandfathered status for the new homestead as long as the recipient received the exemption for tax year 2013 (or tax year 2014 for a manufactured home subject to the manufactured home tax) for any other homestead."

The bill included an emergency clause, meaning it will take effect as soon as Gov. John Kasich signs it.

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