On December 15, 2021, the Ohio Senate passed its version of House Bill 126 (which proposed to modify the procedure when a school district challenges a property tax valuation). Instead of merely modifying the procedure to challenge a property tax valuation, Substitute House Bill 126 as passed by the Senate prohibits a school district from initiating such a challenge. The Senate amendment still allows a school district to file a counterclaim in the event a property owner initiates an action to reduce a tax valuation. Sub. H.B. 126, however, prohibits a board of education from appealing a decision of the board of revision to the board of tax appeals.
The Senate amendment now goes back to the House for its review and vote. The House is not scheduled to return to session until January 19, 2022, so Board members and administrators still have time to contact their legislators to express their opinion of the Senate amendment.
If the Senate amendment to HB 126 is accepted by the House, and the revised Bill is signed into law by the Governor, school districts will be prohibited from initiating actions to challenge property tax valuations and, if the district responds to a property owner’s complaint, will be prohibited from appealing a decision of the board of revision to the board of tax appeals. School districts will need to remain vigilant to attempts by property owners to reduce valuations and should consider filing counterclaims when appropriate.