Letters to the Editor

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Exemption gives seniors tax relief

After more than a decade of growing discontent among Ohio’s senior citizens, real property tax relief has finally been enacted.

The Homestead Exemption, formerly focused on low-income property owners, no longer includes an income test. Now, all Ohio homeowners over 65 may qualify regardless of their income.

The only catch, if you did not qualify in the past, is that you must apply by Oct. 1.

The application is very straightforward and can be completed during a brief visit to the County Auditor’s Office. It consists of a few simple questions about the owner and their residence.

The only unfamiliar item required may be the tax parcel number. It’s located on your tax bill, or you can count on the auditor’s staff to help you with that or any other part of the application.

Missing the Oct. 1 deadline means missing out on property tax savings ranging from $330 to nearly $430 annually, depending on where in Madison County you live.

Here’s the way the new Homestead Exemption works. Qualified participants are exempt from property taxes on the first $25,000 of the estimated market value of their primary residence.

If the estimated market value of your primary residence is $100,000, then the first $25,000 is exempt and you pay property taxes only on the remaining $75,000—a 25 percent savings.

The disability qualification in the old law remains unchanged. Those that qualified for the old program, either by virtue of disability or income, do not have to reapply to qualify for the new program. You are automatically qualified.

For those seniors that did not previously qualify, please hurry into the County Auditor’s Office and get signed up for this new tax savings program or contact us at 740-852-9717 with any questions.

Jim Williamson
Madison County Auditor

Clinic has given health care to 500

Madison County Health Partners Inc. celebrated its two-year anniversary of operating the Free Clinic. Volunteers, donors, staff and board members gathered together Aug. 1 at St. Patrick’s Church Parish Hall.

The Free Clinic serves Madison County residents who have no health insurance. On Monday evenings, volunteers meet with patients and provide basic medical care, help with prescriptions and diagnostics, and supply social service and prayer support, if requested.

According to the latest U.S. Census Bureau statistics, an increase of 1.3 million Americans are uninsured. There are 46.6 million or 15.9 percent of Americans living without health care coverage.

In Madison County, the Free Clinic has provided over 1,200 medical office visits to nearly 500 people in need of health care. None of this could be possible without volunteers who donate their time or donors who give financially to the free clinic.

Thank you to everyone who has been a part of creating a place where people can not only receive a free doctor’s office visit but also a little bit of hope.

Melissa D. Canney
Free Clinic Executive Director

School board candidates can get help

People interested in running for their local school board must file a nominating petition with their county board of elections by 4 p.m. Aug. 23.

This year’s general election day is Nov. 6. The legal qualifications for school board members and qualified electors are that the person is a United States citizen, at least 18 years old, a resident of the school district, county and precinct, and a registered voter for at least 30 days preceding the election.

The Ohio School Boards Association (OSBA) helps candidates prepare for board service. OSBA is offering workshops to educate candidates about the roles and responsibilities of school board members.

The workshops are available to all school board candidates. All sessions (except Sept. 8) run from 6 to 9 p.m., with registration beginning at 5:30. The morning session on Sept. 8 runs from 9 a.m. to noon, with registration starting at 8:30. Dates and locations for the statewide workshops are:

• Sept. 8—Columbus at OSBA office (8050 N. High St.)

• Sept. 10—Findlay at Findlay Inn & Conference Center

• Sept. 10—New Philadelphia at Holiday Inn

• Sept. 11—Athens at Ohio University Inn

• Sept. 17—Miamisburg at Holiday Inn Dayton Mall

• Sept. 17—Strongsville at Holiday Inn Select

Participants will learn about boardmanship and ethics, campaigning procedures, educational issues and school board policymaking.  

The workshop fee is $60. Registrants will receive a board candidate kit, which includes a subscription to the OSBA Journal magazine and OSBA’s Briefcase newsletter, as well as other information. Call OSBA at 614-540-4000 or visit www.osba-ohio.org/seminars/BCW.htm for further details and registration information.

Gary Motz, communications specialist
Ohio School Boards Association

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