COLUMBUS – Legislation to support Gallia County Local Schools and several other schools facing funding shortfalls after local power plant closures was signed into law today by Governor DeWine, announced State Representative Jason Stephens (R-Kitts Hill) and Senator Bob Peterson (R-Washington Court House).
House Bill 164, supported by Stephens and Peterson, passed out of the Ohio House of Representatives on June 11, 2020, after House members concurred with Senate amendments made to the bill. The Ohio Senate had previously passed House Bill 164 by a unanimous vote on June 10, 2020.
Ohio’s complex system for school funding heavily relies on a mix of state and local tax revenue. When large power plants, including the James M. Gavin Power Plant lose value for tax purposes, part of the local fallout is that local tax revenue for the area school district declines. In some cases, that impact can have significant consequences.
Several school districts across Ohio are facing local funding reductions as the result of power plant shutdowns and devaluations. Under House Bill 164, school districts that experienced a 10 percent or more decrease in utility tangible property tax would receive additional support from the state.
The Ohio Legislation Service Commission estimates that under the bill, Gallia County Local Schools will receive an additional $402,650 in funding to assist them with the crippling financial burden of the closure of two power plants.
“School districts have been hit hard with the aftermath of power plant devaluations and this legislation is a step in the right direction to protect school districts like Gallia County Local Schools,” said Stephens.
“I appreciate that we were able to work with local school board representatives to help fund Gallia County Local Schools in this challenging time,” said Peterson.