The US Department of Agriculture’s Crop Production Report released in early August confirmed that Ohio farmers planted nearly 20% fewer acres in 2019 (compared to 2018) due to record-setting rains earlier this year. Ohio saw the third highest level of prevented acreage compared with other states, behind only South Dakota (3.86 million) and Illinois (1.5 million). 54 Ohio counties have been granted disaster designations by USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue due to rain, flooding or other weather conditions.
OEDA worked with a local government coalition to obtain a line-item veto of the provisions of HB 149. The program would have frozen property taxes on undeveloped land in residential developments that have been subdivided and slated for development until the land was either sold or housing construction began. OEDA’s concerns were based on the fact that the exemptions were automatic, and the failure to include an “opt-in” provision stripped local economic development professionals and governments of the ability to assess the need. OEDA was also concerned that the resulting decrease in communities’ property tax revenues could have negatively impacted their abilities to fund infrastructure, transportation, schools, libraries, and other projects necessary to support existing businesses and attract new ones. The OEDA is grateful to Governor DeWine for his help on this matter.
Governor’s Budget Bill: After missing the statutory deadline of June 30 and enacting a 17 day budget extension for the first time in many years, the General Assembly finally approved the state’s operating budget for the 2020-2021 Biennium (HB 166) on July 17. The bill was then sent to Governor DeWine and on July 18 after issuing 25 line-item vetoes, the Governor signed the bill into law.
Major changes in the Senate version include:
Restoration of the pass-through entity income tax deduction back to the first $250,000 of income;
Inclusion of Governor Mike DeWine’s proposal for $550 million in wraparound services funding for schools but re-directing an additional $125 million the House provided for those programs to other purposes, including assistance to fast-growing districts and an expansion of school vouchers;
Funding of the first two years of Governor DeWine’s proposed H2Ohio water quality initiative at $172 million for the biennium, and
Restoration of the statewide Kinship Care Navigator Program as proposed by the Governor, and its $15 million per year funding.
Governor’s Budget Bill: The Governor’s proposed budget for the 2020-2021 Biennium, HB 166 has been moving forward, with the House passing a Substitute Bill May 9 and the Senate releasing its Substitute Bill June 11. The Governor must sign a final budget bill by June 30.