Gentile calls for tax relief for seniors

COLUMBUS – State Sen. Lou Gentile, D-Steubenville, joined State Rep. Nick Barborak, D-Lisbon, to call on the Ohio General Assembly to pass legislation to restore property tax relief to Ohio’s senior citizens.

“Over the summer I spent time traveling throughout my district and listening to my constituents and they were very clear – Ohio should restore the Homestead Exemption to middle income Ohioans who will be turning 65,” said Gentile.

“Republicans made drastic changes to the Homestead Exemption provision during last-minute budget negotiations without any public input. My legislation, Senate Bill 180, repeal the changes made to the Homestead Exemption in the state’s budget tax plan,” Gentile said at a Tuesday afternoon press conference in Columbus.

“The new eligibility requirements make the threshold too low putting thousands of Ohioans who may be retired or living on fixed incomes in a bind. As the cost of living increases for Ohio’s seniors, the state should take into consideration the impact this will have on their quality of life. It is estimated that at least 40,000 households will be affected by the new eligibility requirements. The budget established that those who are not yet 65 and who earn more than $30,000 would no longer qualify for the homestead exemption,” Gentile said.

“Our bill would repeal the arbitrary threshold and provide much needed property tax relief to thousands of Ohio’s seniors,” Gentile stated. “I am urging my colleagues to give this legislation serious consideration and make Ohio’s seniors a top priority.”