COLUMBUS– State Representatives John Rogers (D-Mentor-On-The-Lake) and Jeff Crossman (D-Parma) today introduced a number of legislative proposals aimed at assisting with the economic wellbeing of Ohioans impacted by the spread of COVID-19 and the State’s Executive orders addressing the pandemic. This package would temporarily modify the tax code, other statutes and state funding in an effort to protect Ohioans who are at risk of significant personal financial loss as this crisis moves forward.

“This week marks the first opportunity that Ohio’s General Assembly has been scheduled to convene in response to COVID-19 which is affecting all of our lives,” Rep. Rogers said. “These legislative proposals are urgently needed and will provide an economic safety net immediately for some of the most vulnerable Ohioans.”

This package of six legislative proposals includes the following:

  • Extending the state tax filing and payment deadlines to match the extended federal tax deadline of July 15th (Rogers, Crossman)
  • Increasing the amount of state funding that villages, townships, cities and counties will be receiving from the Local Government Fund (Rogers, Crossman)
  • Creating a partially refundable earned income tax credit for Ohioans with a low to moderate income for the 2019 tax year. Those eligible for the refund having already filed their state income taxes would be allowed to file an amended return. (Rogers, Crossman)
  • Delaying for 6 months any filing of an In Rem Foreclosure for property tax delinquencies while also delaying any tax certificate sales for the same period. No penalties or interest would be applied for this period.  (Rogers, Crossman)
  • Price Gouging: This amends Ohio’s Consumer Protection Statute to include protection against persons or businesses that attempt to artificially inflate the cost of their goods, services, and dwellings during a state of emergency.  This adds provisions that other states already have but Ohio does not. (Crossman, Rogers)
  • Business Interruption Insurance: This would prohibit the denial of insurance claims made by small businesses for “pandemic” or “viral epidemic” reasons and allow small businesses to obtain insurance to cover their losses due to the public health emergency closures.  (Crossman, Rogers)

“The goal of the legislation we are introducing today is to bring clarity to our tax schedule, bring relief to individuals who might already be feeling a financial strain, and assist our local governments on the front lines of this public health crisis” Rep. Crossman said.  “In addition, we are offering legislation to address concerns over price gouging and relief to small businesses by assisting with their insurance claims.  All of this legislation is designed to help Ohioans across the board as we work our way through a pandemic that threatens to create a financial crisis in the near term.”

These legislative proposals have been submitted with emergency clauses and would go into effect immediately upon enactment.  The Ohio General Assembly is currently set to meet for multiple days this week to pass emergency legislation in response to COVID-19.