Opinion

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To the Editor:
In an already challenging economy, seniors, veterans, the working class, all home and property owners are trying to provide for their families, feel protected in their own homes, while avoiding home foreclosures and vehicle repossessions that are already on the rise.
Now Ohioan’s are suddenly stricken or will soon be stricken with hundreds or thousands of dollars in unexpected increase in taxes. A problem that could expect to continue and even grow in the next couple of years. These unexpected tax increases could be coming to Carroll County in 2026. As a Carroll County Homeowner in Lee Township, I will be on alert.
A precedent has already shown similar tax increase circumstances. Property taxes of numerous homeowners across Ohio have risen dramatically. In Ashland, Ashtabula, Geauga, Richland, Summit and Wayne counties homeowners have seen an average of more than 30 percent increases. In Hamilton County, it has been found their property taxes had more than doubled in residential property values after appraisals.
Property tax relief is top of the minds for some lawmakers in Columbus. A multitude of bills are moving through the Ohio Statehouse between the House and Senate. Just to highlight two of the bills.
Ohio House Bill 263 originally was written to freeze property taxes, for seniors who apply, if they are 70 and older, their income does not exceed $70,000 and they have owned their home for ten or more years. HB 263 has had several committee hearings and has undergone some modifications. Now that criteria states someone 65 or older, their income cannot exceed $50,000 and there is a two-year residency requirement instead of ten.
Ohio lawmakers are also looking to longer-term solutions on the state level with Ohio House Bill 187, which would increase the income eligibility amount from $36,100-$75,000 for eligible seniors and disabled veterans.
Increasing the exemption amount and expanding eligibility will provide direct tax relief to those most impacted by rising property valuations and challenging the way home property taxes are calculated.
The new proposed method would consider the past three years of property values instead of just one year. HB 187 also halts the state’s Department of Taxation from requesting counties to increase their property tax value if they come in too low.
When it comes down to what once was the days of “nickel and diming” the public is now today’s inflation version of being “five and ten dollaring” the pockets of Ohioan’s as experienced with Ashland, Ashtabula, Hamilton, Geauga, Richland, Summit and Wayne counties.
Let’s continue addressing those who are struggling and having to make hard-hitting decisions. Do they pay for their own medications, do they pay utilities, do they pay for food or do they pay for their property taxes? Hopefully these bills are approved and Ohioan’s are not going to be taxed out of their own homes and be left out in the cold come the winter of 2026.
Edward L. Hale,
Carrollton

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