COLUMBUS—State Representative Marlene Anielski (R-Walton Hills) applauded the passage of legislation that would add township fire, emergency medical, and ambulance levies to those which must be reimbursed because of the creation of a municipal tax increment financing (TIF) incentive district.

Tax increment financing (TIF) authorizes the local government to finance public infrastructure or residential rehabilitation improvements by redirecting additional tax revenue resulting from an increase in property value, which would otherwise have been paid by the respective institution in the form of higher property taxes. An incentive district refers to an area not exceeding 300 acres in size that is enclosed by a continuous boundary and that exhibits certain characteristics of economic distress.

Currently, certain institutions and services such as libraries, township park districts, and county hospitals receive reimbursement payments from a municipal incentive district TIF. If enacted, House Bill 69 would expand the list to include township fire and emergency medical services.

“Maintaining the ability for local governments to balance both their financial future and the ability for local emergency services to function is a critical role of the legislature,” said Rep. Anielski. “It is my feeling that House Bill 69 will help to allow localities to further balance those interests more efficiently and effectively.”

House Bill 69, which had earlier been heard and passed out of Chair Anielski’s House State and Local Government Committee, stipulates that the reimbursement requirement is contingent on the township providing fire, emergency medical, or ambulance services in the incentive district, and the ordinance creating the district being adopted following the bill’s effective date.

The bill allows the board of township trustees to waive the reimbursement requirement or to negotiate an agreement for partial reimbursement with the municipal corporation creating the TIF.

House Bill 69 passed with bipartisan support and now goes to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.

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