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Senate approves main Mid-Biennium Review bill

The Senate this week approved House Bill 483, the major portion of Governor John Kasich’s Mid-Biennium Review (MBR) legislation. Prior to the full Senate vote, the Finance Committee added a 700-page omnibus amendment to the proposal that removed many of the appropriations previously included and replaced them with additional tax relief.

The bill now accelerates implementation of the gradual 10 percent income tax cut approved by the General Assembly in the previous budget to ensure the full reduction will be realized in tax year 2014. The legislation also increases the previously approved 50 percent tax cut for small businesses on the first $250,000 of income to 75 percent for tax year 2014. The Senate estimates this additional, temporary rate cut will save Ohio businesses $228 million.

“This is a bill that cuts taxes for Ohio’s lower and middle classes while reducing overall spending in order to create a more streamlined and robust plan for the remaining budget period,” said Senator Scott Oelslager (R-North Canton), who serves as the Chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Finance.

The MBR also increases Ohio’s nonrefundable earned income tax credit from five percent of the federal credit to 10 percent beginning in 2014, and increases the personal income tax exemptions for those making less than $80,000 per year to $1,950 for tax years 2014 and 2015. These changes are expected to save taxpayers approximately $80 million each year.

The following are among the additional provisions now included in the bill:

  • Removes the dropout recovery prevention and recovery provisions, and the $5 million appropriation for the program
  • Removes a current law provision that requires mortgage brokers and loan originators to deliver a disclosure form to a buyer describing any property tax escrow and monthly payments of a loan

  • Requires the Department of Health to commence a licensing inspection of a nursing home or residential care facility within 10 days if a request for an expedited inspection is received

  • Reinserts language from the as-introduced bill that breaks an individual’s unemployment benefit registration period if an individual fails to report to the Ohio Jobs and Family Services Director, allowing the director to immediately cease benefit payments until the requirement is satisfied; under current law, the director must continue to issue payments during the three-week registration period and collect overpayments upon determination that the requirement was not satisfied

  • Prohibits issuance of citations for Motor Vehicles Law violations by unpaid police officers

  • Specifies that the minimum setback for a wind turbine must be at least 1,125 feet in horizontal distance from the tip of a turbine’s nearest blade at 90 degrees to the property line of the nearest adjacent property

  • Allows political subdivisions to transfer real property to its community improvement corporation

  • Allows certain A-1-A liquor permit holders to sell growlers of beer

House Bill 483 will likely be referred to a conference committee made up of members of both the House and Senate to reconcile the two versions of the legislation before presenting the final bill to the governor for his consideration.

Legislation to watch

Utility submetering: Sponsored by Representative Anne Gonzales (R-Westerville), House Bill 545 revises the law governing master metering and submetering for public utility service to premises administered by a landlord, condominium unit owners association, or manufactured home park operator. The bill was introduced on May 19.

Photo monitoring: Sponsored by Senator Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati), Senate Bill 342 would establish conditions for the use by local authorities of traffic law photo-monitoring devices to detect certain traffic law violations. The bill was introduced on May 20.

Development zones: Sponsored by Representative Kirk Schuring (R-Canton), House Bill 289 terminates the authority to create new alternative joint economic development zones (JEDZs) or substantially modify existing alternative JEDZs after Dec. 31, 2014. The bill requires the creation of review councils to approve the economic development plans for alternative JEDZs created or substantially amended before that date. The bill passed the Senate on May 21.

MBR education: Sponsored by Representative Andy Brenner (R-Powell), House Bill 487 is the education portion of the governor’s MBR. The bill modifies the frequency of evaluations for high performing teachers and adjusts the value-added measure of student growth. The bill passed the Senate on May 21 and now returns to the House for a concurrence vote.

Incentive districts: Sponsored by Representative Jim Butler (R-Oakwood), House Bill 198 will establish a procedure by which political subdivisions proposing a tax increment financing (TIF) incentive district are required to provide notice to the record owner of each parcel within the proposed incentive district before adopting the TIF resolution. The bill was passed by the House on May 21.

For more information, please contact:

Michael Caputo
(non-attorney professional)

Rebecca M. Kuhns
(non-attorney professional)

Aaron M. Ockerman
(non-attorney professional)

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