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Hall Introduces Bill Empowering Ohio Townships

January 18, 2022
Thomas Hall News

COLUMBUS – The Ohio House Ways and Means Committee today began hearings on House Bill 501, legislation sponsored by State Representative Thomas Hall (R-Madison Twp.), which would address a number of issues and concerns relating to Ohio townships.

The bill will address six main issues:

  1. Simplifies the process townships must follow to donate unneeded property.
  2. Allows the board of township trustees to conduct and attend meetings electronically during a declared emergency; and allows the board to establish a curfew during the emergency period.
  3. Allows a political subdivision, like a township, to pass a levy specifically for the provision of a School Resource Officer within the local school district.
  4. Allows townships to create a special tax increment financing (TIF) district with the goal of providing funding for any public or private property improvement project.
  5. Allows a township to establish a preservation commission to preserve historic properties in the unincorporated territory of the township.
  6. Clarifies that the Auditor of State’s fraud-reporting system to ensure that protections apply to all employees reporting unlawful activity occurring at the workplace are covered, not just civil service employees.

“As a former Township Trustee, I cannot stress enough how important bills such as H.B. 501 are to supporting our local communities,” said Hall. “Giving power to our local governments will help ensure that individual communities are able to care for their residents as effectively and efficiently as possible.”

During his testimony, Hall also noted that similar legislation is passed every General Assembly. Hall also mentioned that the bill is the product of a collaboration with the Ohio Township Association.

H.B. 501 now awaits additional committee hearings.