Council backs state bill to freeze property taxes for seniors

by Dan Holland

March 25 city council meeting

Members of Broadview Heights City Council at their March 25 meeting passed a resolution urging adoption of Ohio House Bill 263, which would authorize a property tax freeze for certain owner-occupied homes.

The bill, which was introduced by the Ohio House of Representatives on Oct. 12, 2023, would freeze property taxes for certain owner-occupied homes meeting four criteria: the owner must be at least 70 years old, have an annual income of less than $70,000, must have continuously occupied the residence for at least 10 years and the property must be valued at less than $1 million.

State Rep. Thomas Hall, R-Madison Twp., and state Rep.Dani Isaacsohn, D-Cincinnati, are the primary sponsors of the bill. As of late March, the bill was in House Committee.

“I read about the bill last fall, and I was talking to one of my ward residents about it and told him that I would go forward with it,” said Council President Robert Boldt. “It is really smart legislation, because it doesn’t eliminate tax, but it stalls it for seniors on a budgeted income. It’s almost the same as the Homestead Act. This is the next step in it.

“I think that our residents who can be approved for it would really appreciate it, and it doesn’t affect the taxes for the schools or the government taxes; just all future tax,” he added. “It freezes it for them as housing values go up, and they will need to apply for it each year. As long as they meet the four criteria, they will be able to freeze their property taxation at the level it’s at today. Any time we can help our seniors who are on budgeted incomes, it’s a good thing.”

In other business, council members passed:

  • An agreement with American Fireworks to provide fireworks shows for Home Days, the Fall Music Festival and the Tree Lighting Ceremony in 2024 at a total cost of $31,000.
  • An agreement with Valley Truck Center for purchase of a 2024 Ford F-350 truck equipped with a four-corner strobe and two-yard dump body for use by the city service department at a cost of $69,400.
  • An agreement with Sarchione Ford for purchase of a 2023 Ford F-350 truck for use by the city service department at a cost of $50,087.
  • An agreement with The Fedeli Group/Travelers Insurance Group for property and casualty insurance in the city at a cost of $194,700.
  • A resolution accepting an equipment grant for $10,000 from the Ohio Department of Commerce, Division of State Fire Marshal.

Under miscellaneous business, council members passed motions to approve donations of $250 to the after-prom committees of both Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School and North Royalton High School. Motions to donate a $500 scholarship and plaque to both high schools were also approved. ∞