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Government & Politics

School Levy Language Bill Passes in Ohio House

photo of voting machine
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU
Some legislators argued it will help schools while others said it would have unintended consequences.

State senators will soon take up a House-passed bill that its sponsor said will clarify descriptions of school and local levies and other property tax issues before voters. But opponents said it will make it harder for those money questions to pass.

Republican Rep. Derrick Merrin said the bill fixes antiquated ballot language about millage to express how much a levy would bring in and would cost homeowners.

“If you provide clarity and are honest with people, they’re more likely to vote yes. I actually think this will make it easier for a lot of township levies, county levies that are very low dollar amounts to pass,” Merrin said.

But Democratic Rep. Jessica Miranda said it’s opposed by school, township and library groups because it’s full of unintended consequences. “To include this measure actually makes it more confusing, contradictory and difficult and presents an unnecessary burden on school boards.”

Five Republicans joined all Democrats in opposing the bill, which passed 54-39.  Earlier this year Gov. Mike DeWine vetoed similar language that was in the state budget, but he says he hasn’t looked at this bill.