Ohio Senate Releases Their Version of the State Budget – What Made the Cut and What Will the OBL Fight for as the Legislature Heads into Conference Committee?


In a previous article, we detailed the State Budget Process, which can be found HERE. Right now, we are finishing Step 3 of the Ohio Operating Budget Process and in the process of beginning Step 4: Conference Committee.

Yesterday, the Ohio Senate released their version of the Operating Budget after just over seven weeks of deliberation and hearings. While the full bill text has not been released yet, the OBL received a bulleted document noting the high-level changes. Keep in mind that the deadline for amendments to the Budget Bill is Friday June 9th and key issues to the OBL and its members may appear in amendments if they did not make it into the Senate Version of the Budget.

OBL continues to advocate for inclusion of a fix to address issues that arose from the Transportation Budget earlier this year dealing with automotive lending and specifically electronic titling. A more detailed article on the issue can be found HERE. OBL is working with legislative leaders and other interested parties to include a compromise in the budget that would be more palatable to the lending community. Additional changes to the budget are detailed below.

Among the positives for the industry, the OBL is supportive of:

·         A provision added into the House version of the budget granting credit unions access to the Ohio Capital Access Program (OCAP) was removed.

·         There were no provisions added to the bill that deal with ESG issues.

·         There were no substantive changes to the Financial Institutions Tax.

The concerning changes for the industry the OBL include:

·         The State-Level Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program that was added into the House version of the budget has been removed.

·         The positive changes to the valuation of LIHTC properties that were added into the House version of the budget were removed.

·         The Senate version of the budget eliminates the Homeowner Savings Linked Deposit Program that was created in the House Version.

Lastly, there are a number of provisions new to the Budget the OBL is digging into further:

·         The Senate version requires the Ohio Housing Financing Agency (OHFA) to prepare an annually updated a list of all federally subsidized residential properties within the state and send the list to the State Auditor, Board of Tax Appeal, Tax Commissioners and then have it sent to all County Auditors.

·         The Senate version transfers the duties of OHFA to the newly created Office of Housing Transformation within the Department of Development.

·         The Senate version incorporates a modified version of SB 118 now called the Welcome Home Ohio Program.

To view the comparison between the House and Senate versions, also known as the Comp Doc, click here.

OBL remains actively engaged on all issues listed above and will continue to comb through the budget once the full text is released.