A state budget provision just taking effect would change an 80-year-old policy, requiring those who want to dispute tax decisions go to one of 12 regional appeals courts instead of the Ohio Supreme Court. But businesses say that will hurt them.
The Ohio Supreme Court’s Edward Miller says the change was requested after a flood of local property tax disputes, when the court’s main role is to rule on big cases involving the constitution. “A lot of the cases that were coming here were basic disputes over, for example, local mathematic evaluations,” Miller said, adding that that’s better left to regional appeals courts.
But former state tax commissioner Tom Zaino said the high court offers a statewide ruling to businesses that can be taxed in different regions. “They’re spending a lot of money already on legal appeals, and the government is doing the same. And now it’s just going to make it a more expensive process,” Zaino said.
Miller said the high court can still be asked to review appeals courts’ rulings, but Zaino pointed out that there’s no guarantee the court will hear them.