As we wrote about recently, Republican lawmakers slipped in a provision in the waning hours of the budget process that will soon cause property taxes to increase for all Ohioans. The provision, the elimination of the property tax rollback, means that property owners will be forced to pay an additional 12.5 percent on all new and replacement levies. Since the 1970’s that 12.5 percent was picked up by the state, but with the signing of the budget the state will no longer cover that cost. Going forward this means that tax bills will rise for all property owners, continuing the transfer of paying for government services from the state level to the local level.
This change is already starting to affect local communities. On Tuesday, there was an excellent article on the increased tax burden property owners face in Upper Arlington, a suburb outside of Columbus. Upper Arlington Schools planned on placing a new levy on the November ballot for $6.3 million a year but school officials noted that the cost to homeowners increased significantly since the budget was signed into law.
Interestingly, the Treasurer of Upper Arlington Schools pointed out that this change is just one in a series of policy changes by the Kasich administration that have transferred the tax burden to local governments and communities.
“What we see is that it is a part of the bigger picture from the state,” Geistfeld said. “Part one was to phase out the tangible personal property taxes on businesses and to eliminate the reimbursement of that tax money to districts. We lost $2.6 million per year due to that phase-out…”
Mr. Geistfeld is absolutely correct. Schools were cut $1.8 billion in Governor Kasich’s first budget, and even with lawmakers restoring some of those cuts, schools are still getting half a billion dollars less than they did four years ago in the current budget. What this policy of cutting funding for schools and local governments means for taxpayers is not only more levies but more expensive levies.
While Governor Kasich and Republican lawmakers have spent the recent weeks celebrating the measly income tax reduction included in the budget (which is mainly enjoyed by the wealthy) they always seem to forget to mention the fact that they also raised all Ohioans property taxes. And with the cuts to education and local governments in this budget, and the previous one, tax payers have Governor Kasich and Republican legislators to thank for their every growing property tax bills.