Gov. DeWine signs into law tax break for spouses of fallen first responders

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Columbus, OH (WTRF)- Spouses of first responders who lose their lives in the line of duty will now get a show of support through a reduced tax bill.

Gov. Mike DeWine on Thursday signed into law House Bill 17, which gives those widows and widowers an exemption of $50,000 of the home’s appraised value or cost from property taxation or the manufactured home tax.

The bill also exempts the spouse of a fallen first responder from the income means test, currently $32,800 in Ohio adjusted gross income.

“I am very pleased to see the governor moving forward today in making this honorable legislation law,” said Rep. Tim Ginter (R-Salem). “Providing important relief to spouses of our first responders who make the ultimate sacrifice while protecting and serving the public is the right thing to do.”

Additionally, as with the existing homestead exemption, local taxing units would be reimbursed by the state for the reduction in property tax revenue that results from the bill’s extended exemption.

House Bill 17 originally passed out of the Ohio House unanimously in November 2019 and was passed out of the Senate last month. The provisions of the legislation on the homestead exemption for spouses of fallen first responders will take effect for the 2020 tax year or, in the case of homes that are subject to the manufactured home tax, in tax year 2021, Ginter said in a press release.

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