Week in Review > Week in Review 12/10/2021Posted by Buckeye Association of School Administrators on December 10th, 2021
Senators answered school district complaints against tax valuation changes in HB126 (Merrin) Tuesday by withdrawing the as-introduced version and substituting even stronger safeguards for property owners. The Senate Ways and Means Committee accepted an omnibus amendment rescinding the original bill and instead requiring school boards not only to adopt a resolution for counter-complaints but also to proffer evidence supporting higher valuations; banning school districts appeals from boards of revision (BOR) to the courts; and barring property owners and opposing school districts from adopting arms-length “private pay agreements” in which owners pay school officials not to file complaints or to dismiss them once filed.
“The amendment does not prohibit settlement agreements whereby parties agree upon a new valuation of a property and that valuation is reflected on the tax list,” the Legislative Services Commission (LSC) said. The new version clarifies that parties, including political subdivisions, could file initial complaints only for property they own and would receive mandatory notice of counter-complaints. Amended HB126, finally, would take effect in tax year 2022 rather than 2021.
Interim Superintendent Stephanie Siddens spoke to the Senate Primary and Secondary Education Committee about her priorities during the leadership transition and how the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) is working to address student learning loss and absenteeism driven by the pandemic. Committee members pressed her on that topic repeatedly, noting the substantial federal relief funding that schools have available to address the issue. The committee also heard about how the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) has navigated disruptions caused by the pandemic and worked to enable student athletes’ continued participation.
The General Assembly is finally sending a sports gambling legalization bill to the governor. After months of negotiations and numerous delays, the HB29 (Wiggam-A. Miller) Conference Committee met Wednesday afternoon and unanimously approved a report on the bill after accepting an omnibus amendment that House Majority Floor Leader Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati) said included language from around 50 separate amendments. Shortly afterward, the Senate voted 31-1 to approve the report, while the House voted 72-12 to approve it. Gov. Mike DeWine has indicated that he will sign the bill. The Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC) is required to designate a universal start date no later than Jan. 1, 2023.
Aside from voting to approve a large federal spending bill, the House on Thursday approved HB458 (Hall), legislation to eliminate August special elections; HCR13 (Koehler-Creech), urging Congress to make daylight savings time permanent; HB186 (Swearingen-Wilkin), regarding first-time homebuyers; HB233 (Hillyer), regarding sales tax and bad credit card debt; HB243 (Cutrona), to preempt local knife laws; HB321 (Kick-B. Young), regarding auction laws; HB348 (Merrin), regarding unclaimed funds; HB440 (Swearingen-White), to expand the Agriculture Linked Deposit Program; SB166 (Reineke), regarding career-technical education; and agreed to Senate amendments HB122 (Fraizer-Holmes), regarding telehealth.
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