OHIO UPDATE - Supreme Court Decisions and Legislative News

in Business, Employment, News, Nonprofit, Real Estate

NEW REAL ESTATE TAX BREAKS FOR COMMERCIAL PROPERTY

Effective March 28, 2017, a new real estate tax exemption will be available for industrial and/or commercial real estate which is under development.

The exemption is intended to benefit properties that have not yet, but will be, developed or redeveloped with new construction of commercial or industrial buildings. No part of an eligible commercial or industrial building may contain a dwelling.

The law provides procedures for applying for the exemption with local governments.

 This new commercial/industrial property tax exemption may provide a great incentive for new development or redevelopment of industrial and commercial buildings, structures and improvements.

Link to Ohio Senate Bill 235

 

OHIO’S PERMITTED CONCEAL CARRY GUN LAWS BROADENED

Beginning March 19, 2017, people with concealed carry gun licenses may keep guns in their private automobiles and other vehicles whether located on private or public property.  Businesses can still forbid persons from carrying guns or other weapons inside buildings or inside vehicles owned by the business.  Senate Bill 199, signed by Ohio Governor John Kasich on December 19, 2016, allows duly licensed persons to bring concealed guns into daycare centers and all of the public areas of airports outside of security checkpoints.

Ohio colleges and universities will be able to allow concealed firearms on their campuses.  State and local governments may enact regulations allowing concealed guns in their premises.

Active duty members of the United States armed services may carry a concealed firearm without a state permit so long as he or she possesses valid military identification and evidence of firearms training.

Link to Ohio Senate Bill 199

 

CHURCH TAX EXEMPTION FOR HOUSES OF WORSHIP EXPANDED

Decided earlier in 2016 but recently republished is an Ohio Supreme Court decision expanding the real estate tax exemption for so-called “houses of worship.”

In a 4-3 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that a 2.28-acre facility which included a Christian radio station office and building, radio tower with a chapel and meeting room, all qualified as exempt from real estate taxes as part of a house of worship.  Earlier the Ohio tax commissioner had denied this exemption reasoning that it should only apply “where people gathered to profess their faith or observe and participate in religious rituals or ceremonies.”  The Supreme Court majority disagreed.

Suffice it to say that the three Justice dissent found calling a Christian radio station a public house of worship a stretch.

Still, the ruling stands as the final decision of the Supreme Court in this particular case and expands the real estate tax exemption available for religious enterprises.

Link to Christian Voice of Cent. Ohio v. Testa, Slip Opinion No. 2016-Ohio-1527

If you have any questions about these topics, feel free to contact Dana Rose or your Weston Hurd attorney.

Contact Information

Dana A. Rose

Weston Hurd LLP

216.687.3342

drose@westonhurd.com