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Government and Politics

Key Dem joins key Republican in considering hiking property taxes on wealthy homeowners
Democratic Rep. Micheal Foley says regrets his former position on the Homestead Exemption and now wants to put money back into cities, schools and welfare programs.

Bill Cohen
Ohio Rep. Michael Foley (D-Cleveland)
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Taking away a property tax break for upper-middle and upper-income elderly homeowners is one idea being discussed in the Ohio legislature these days.

Earlier this week, Republican State Rep. Jeff McClain, Vice Chair of the House tax-writing committee, said the idea is on the table, as lawmakers debate tax reform. And now, Mike Foley, a democratic state rep., says he could back that change.

It was 2007 when legislators agreed to stop means-testing the property tax break called the Homestead Exemption and let all homeowners 65 and older, not just lower-income homeowners, get the break.

Foley himself voted for that change, but now, in an interview with Statehouse Correspondent Bill Cohen, he says perhaps there' no reason to give that tax break to wealthier people.

Hear Foley's interview with Bill Cohen

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That’s Democratic State Rep. Mike Foley, a member of the House Finance and tax-writing committees. Even if there was a bipartisan agreement on re-instating a means-test for the Homestead Exemption property tax break, they’d still dis-agree on what to do with the revenue.

Minority Democrats want any new revenue to be channeled to financially strapped cities, schools, and government social welfare programs. But majority Republicans are considering a property tax change— only as a way to raise cash for a major cut in the state income tax.

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