Lepore-Hagan's Fix For Youngstown Metropolitan Housing Authority Tax Issue Clears House
Lawmaker says organization should not be punished for simple clerical error

State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) today voted in favor of House Bill 390, tax-related legislation that includes an amendment to give the Youngstown Metropolitan Housing Authority (YMHA) the opportunity to correct a decades-old tax liability issue.  

“I’m very pleased to have worked in a bipartisan manner to try to help the Youngstown Metropolitan Housing Authority, which serves families in need throughout our community,” said Lepore-Hagan. “The debt burden related to the YMHA’s Rockford Village should never have existed in the first place. The amendment to HB 390 is a common sense approach to remedying a long overdue problem.”

The Youngstown Metropolitan Housing Authority completed renovations to their Rockford Village development in 1999-2000 but, due to a clerical error, failed to re-apply for the property’s tax exempt status. The total Rockford Village tax debt, which has been accumulating since 2002, includes at least $1.35 million in tax, $178,000 in penalties and $374,000 in interest. 

The tax amnesty language sponsored by Rep. Lepore-Hagan empowers the Ohio Tax Commissioner to place YMHA’s Rockford Village development on the tax-exempt list and abate all unpaid taxes, interest and penalties owed on the property. 

“Enactment of my amendment will ensure that the YMHA is not forced to use $1.9 million to pay taxes that should not be owed,” Lepore-Hagan said. “Those funds will instead be used for their intended purpose: to provide safe, affordable housing for the families who depend upon the YMHA.” 

The legislation passed the House today with overwhelming bipartisan support and will now go to the Ohio Senate for further consideration. Rep. Lepore-Hagan will work with Minority Leader Sen. Joe Schiavoni (D-Boardman) and majority Republicans to secure approval of the tax amnesty language.

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