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Tenant Tax Refunds threatened

Senate Bill 29 would take tenants' state tax refunds to pay landlords...
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What's the issue?

SB 29 Would Allow Landlord to Garnish Tax Refund

Can you imagine getting a letter from the State of Ohio telling you that your tax refund has been given to your landlord? That's what is proposed in Senate Bill 29, which Chairman Tim Schaffer (R-31) of Lancaster has re-introduced in this session of the State Senate.

The bill would allow landlords who have a judgement against a tenant to obtain a court order directing the Ohio Tax Commissioner to take away your State tax refund! The bill puts tenants in the same category as "dead beat dads". What other BUSINESS gets to use the State of Ohio as its collection agency?

This bill is actually a revival of SB 172 from 2012. 
Attorneys from the Ohio Poverty Law Center and Ohio Student Legal Service and advocates from the Cleveland Tenants Organization and COHHIO testified in opposition to SB 172 last year. Copies of testimony are attached below.

What can you do?

  • Read SB 29 and analysis at the Legislative Service Commission’s (LSC) website
  • Share your ideas. Your voice can help advocates educate the Senators.  
  • Contact your State Senator: You can find Senator's contact information here

 Things you can do
1.  Share information about Senate Bill 29 with tenants that you work with.
2.  Research your files for examples of how SB29 will affect you and the people that you live and work with.
3.  Do you have a connection to a committee member?  Contact that member to tell him or her your feelings about SB 29.  Members are:
Tim Schaffer (R) Chair
Bob Peterson (R)  Vice Chair
Charleta B. Tavares (D)  Ranking Minority Member
Bill Beagle (R)
Capri S. Cafaro (D)
John Eklund (R)
Cliff Hite (R)
Larry Obhof (R)
Michael J. Skindell (D)
Chris Widener (R)
Find about the members here.  Suggest good questions they can ask in upcoming hearings.

Current Status
On February 27, 2013, Chairman Tim Schaffer of the Ohio Senate Ways & Means Committee delivered his sponsor testimony.

Here are some bullet points from
Chairman Schaffer's testimony that lend insight into his reasoning behind SB29:
  • Many tenants who leave rental properties leave behind substantial unpaid rents
  • As a result, other tenants shoulder that hardship by paying higher rents to offset costs
  • This bill would allow more unpaid rent to be collected, resulting in a more stable and secure rental market and more consistent rent levels
  • SB29 doesn't deny due process to tenants b/c the landlord has already received a court judgment
  • Chairman Schaffer has been working w/the Ohio Apartment Owners Association and Ohio REIA
  • 68% of renters leave units with 2-3 months worth of unpaid rent - he cited Ohio REIA as the source for this statistic
Proponent/Opponent Testimony has not yet been scheduled and may be delayed due to hearings on Governor Kasich's budget, but we will keep you up to date!

REMEMBER THIS IS THE OHIO SENATE...not the US Senate!  Hearings will be in Columbus.

Notes & Links

It is a Trend:
Using Government to help landlords

What's the difference between a claim and a judgement?

Subpages (1): LL using Government
Spencer Wells,
Feb 3, 2012, 6:32 AM
Spencer Wells,
Feb 3, 2012, 6:32 AM
Spencer Wells,
Feb 3, 2012, 6:31 AM
Spencer Wells,
Feb 3, 2012, 6:31 AM
kelan craig,
Feb 28, 2013, 7:24 AM