Fiscal Note & Local Impact Statement

124 th General Assembly of Ohio

Ohio Legislative Service Commission

77 South High Street, 9th Floor, Columbus, OH 43266-0342 ˛ Phone: (614) 466-3615

˛ Internet Web Site: http://www.lsc.state.oh.us/

BILL:

Sub. H.B. 338

DATE:

June 18, 2002

STATUS:

As Re-reported by Senate Energy, Natural Resources & Environment

SPONSOR:

Rep. Core

LOCAL IMPACT STATEMENT REQUIRED:

No -

Minimal cost

 


CONTENTS:

To authorize referendums on assessments levied for improvements of soil and water conservation districts to be conducted under the statutes governing counties rather than under the statutes governing conservation districts, and to require that property owners be notified of uniform assessments under those statutes by first class mail in lieu of notification by publication

 

State Fiscal Highlights

 

·        No direct fiscal effect on the state.

Local Fiscal Highlights

 

LOCAL GOVERNMENT

FY 2002

FY 2003

FUTURE YEARS

Counties

     Revenues

Minimal increase

Minimal increase

Minimal increase

     Expenditures

Minimal increase

Minimal increase

Minimal increase

Note: For most local governments, the fiscal year is the calendar year. The school district fiscal year is July 1 through June 30.

 

·        This bill would eliminate the referendum for uniform assessments under the Soil and Water Conservation Commission Law and instead apply the referendum process to the Board of County Commissioners Law for both varied or uniform assessments.  Currently, the referendum process applies to only the uniform assessments.  This would also make varied assessments applicable to the process.  As such, more referendums could take place and costs could increase for counties for printing and filing expenses.

·        Under this bill, the objection and appeal process will be applicable to uniform assessments.  This could minimally increase expenditures.

·        Currently, the notice to property owners by first class mail is only applicable to varied assessments.  This bill would make the first class mail requirement applicable to uniform assessments as well. The mailed notice must include a description of the method used to determine the necessity for and the amount of the proposed assessment.  Depending on the number of property owners involved and the scope of the project, the county soil and water conservation districts could see an increase in mailing costs.   

·        Under the bill, county recorders are required to file and record any property use restrictions as a result of the State Fire Marshal’s underground storage tank regulations.  This may increase county expenditures.  However, the Ohio County Recorders Association stated that there would be a fee required as a result of recording this information.  The fee would be the standard $14 for the first two pages and $4 for any additional pages, which would be paid by the responsible property owner.

 


 

Detailed Fiscal Analysis

 

This bill would repeal the authority and procedures for a referendum under the Soil and Water Conservation Commission Law involving the levying of a uniform assessment for an improvement by a soil and water conservation district.  However, the bill applies the authority and procedures for a referendum under the Board of County Commissioners Law.  As a result, both uniform and varied assessments will be applicable to the referendum process.  Currently, only uniform assessments are applicable.  As such, there could be more referendums brought forward.  Uniform assessments will also be applicable to the objection and appeals process. 

 

The Ashland County Soil and Water Conservation District had only two referendums in the last five years, while the Franklin County Soil and Water Conservation District had only one referendum in the past four years. The Erie County Soil and Water Conservation District had ten assessments over the past five years; none of the assessments went through the referendum process and none were appealed.  As a result, it is likely that there would be few additional appeals or referendums brought forward as a result of this bill.

 

Under H.B. 338, property owners charged uniform assessments must be notified by first class mail.  This currently only applies to property owners charged varied assessments.  There is also a requirement that a description of the method used to determine the assessment and the amount of the assessment would be included in the notice.  This would increase postage costs.  The amount of the increase would be dependent upon the number of property owners involved and the scope of the project.

 

The bill also requires county recorders to record any property use restrictions in addition to deeds and related documentation as a result of the State Fire Marshal’s underground storage tank regulations.  County recorders currently maintain similar data.  They would also have to enter the property use restrictions as a memorial on the page of the register under the property owner’s name.  There would be a fee for recording the information, which would cause an increase in revenues.  The property owner responsible would pay the fee.

 

LSC fiscal staff:  Wendy Risner, Budget Analyst

 

FN124\HB0338SS.doc