Measure To Correct Youngstown Metropolitan Housing Authority's Tax Liability Heads To Governor
Lepore-Hagan says bill will allow organization to return focus to helping those in need

State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) today announced her plan to give the Youngstown Metropolitan Housing Authority (YMHA) the opportunity to correct a decades-old tax liability issue cleared the legislature late last night and is now headed to the governor’s desk to be signed into law. 

“On behalf of the YMHA, the families it serves and the residents of the city of Youngstown, I would like to thank the leadership of both parties as well as the members of the Senate and House for supporting this important, common sense legislation,” said Lepore-Hagan. “My amendment will allow YMHA to get back to focusing on helping those in our community who are most in need without having an unfair debt hanging over their head.” 

The tax amnesty language was contained in HB 390, tax-related legislation to which lawmakers ended up adding several last-minute provisions. The measure empowers the Ohio Tax Commissioner to place the agency’s Rockford Village development on the tax-exempt list and abate all unpaid taxes, interest and penalties owed on the property. 

“As a result of a simple clerical error, the YMHA found itself unable to renew its tax-exempt status while taxes and penalties they should not have owed began to pile up,” said Lepore-Hagan. “The tax amnesty language included in HB 390 is the one and only solution to the problem and will ensure that the YMHA is not forced to use $1.9 million to pay taxes from which they should be exempt. Instead, those funds will be used for their intended purpose: to provide safe, affordable housing for the families who depend upon the YMHA.” 

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. 

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