Tyler Warnergovernment affairs

In a post made to the Ohio Association of REALTORS® Website, Lobbyist Scott Williams details the victories of REALTOR® backed initiatives in the state budget. See original post.


By Scott Williams, Ohio REALTORS Vice President of Public Policy

Ohio lawmakers are poised to approve the state’s 2018-19 biennial budget containing a number of significant provisions of interest to the real estate profession, including a possible common-sense fix to the antiquated system of municipal income tax collection.

Ohio REALTORS, like many businesses that earn income in multiple taxing districts, will hopefully be able to meet their tax obligations in a simple, streamlined manner through filings with the Ohio Business Gateway. Lawmakers agreed to an opt-in provision for business net profit filers to use the Business Gateway, rather than the current system of needing to file multiple returns that often cost more to complete than the actual tax owed. The Conference Committee did reduce the administrative fee for the Department of Taxation, which could potentially result in the Governor’s veto.

Equally important, the budget does not contain any expansion of the sales tax to professional services such as real estate commissions.

Other notable highlights of concern to Ohio REALTORS:

  • Lawmakers agreed to positive changes to the Good Funds Law, allowing for increased limits for cash and providing for other electronic means of transfer.
  • The proposed flat $200 increase in recordation fees for the Ohio Housing Trust fund were removed.
  • Contains language to permit electronic notarization of documents.
  • Direct appeal of property tax appeals to the Ohio Supreme Court is restored with limitation.
  • Contains a property tax exemption for Habitat for Humanity Re-Store’s.
  • Finally a lead abatement pilot program was established for Toledo. It appropriates $150,000 for abatement grants to owners. Additionally, a report will  filed with the Ohio Department of Health on the outcomes the program achieves.

Special thanks to the Ohio REALTOR community for its active involvement in the budget process, particularly the many members that responded to our Call For Action on the municipal income tax measure. Your efforts were critical in helping to convince lawmakers to support the industry’s position. Gov. Kasich must sign the bill by June 30 .