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Lawmakers Consider Changing The Homestead Exemption

Taking away a property tax break for upper-middle and upper-income elderly homeowners is one idea being floated in the Ohio legislature. Earlier this week, Republican State Representative Jeff McClain, Vice Chair of the House tax-writing committee, said the idea is on the table as lawmakers debate tax reform. Now Democratic State Representative Mike Foley says he could support the change. In 2007, legislators agreed to stop means-testing the property tax break called the Homestead Exemption and allow all homeowners age 65 and older receive the break. Foley voted for that change, but now, he tells Statehouse correspondent Bill Cohen there's no reason to give that tax break to wealthier people.

Democratic State Representative Mike Foley is a member of the House Finance and tax-writing committees. Even if Democrats and Republicans could agree on re-instating a means-test for the Homestead Exemption, they still disagree on what to do with the revenue. Minority Democrats want it to go to financially strapped cities, schools, and social welfare programs. Majority Republicans want to use the revenue to fund a cut in the state income tax.

Jim has been with WCBE since 1996. Before that he worked as a reporter at another Columbus radio station, and for three newspapers in Southwest Florida.