How a Business-Backed Ohio Bill Could Benefit Big Developers: Capitol Letter

Rumblings of the rotunda

To have! Great view! Laura Hancock has looked at the wealthy real estate developers and investors who are behind the bill that would prevent school districts from getting involved in property value litigation on county review boards and from the Ohio Board of Tax Appeals. Developers and investors say Ohio’s current agenda is stifling economic development. Opponents of the bill, however, say that with school districts on the sidelines, owners of commercial buildings will be more successful in keeping their values ​​low – which will pass the costs of running a school district onto owners. and small businesses.

Private life or tax evasion? Hancock also explains how commercial property owners are increasingly using scrolling limited liability companies to sell properties, which allows them to avoid disclosing property values ​​and paying transfer taxes to their counties. Developers say LLCs offer the necessary privacy if they want to move into a neighborhood without the competition’s knowledge, or if property owners are raising prices.

Get the hell out of here: Donald Trump’s ally Jim Jordan announced on Sunday that he would not cooperate with a select committee investigating last year’s riot on Capitol Hill by supporters of the defeated president who wanted to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, writes Sabrina Eaton. In an indignant letter To the chairman of the special committee to investigate the Jan.6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, the Champaign County Republican said the Dec. 23 committee’s request to discuss communications it had received this on that day with Trump and others who had planned the GOP effort to challenge the 2020 election results, “represents an unprecedented and inappropriate request to examine the basis for a colleague’s decision on a particular pending issue. before the House of Representatives .

Never say “never Trump”: Ohio Governor Mike DeWine said he did not ask for former President Donald Trump’s blessing. Jessie Balmert and Anna Staver from The Columbus Dispatch report that DeWine also didn’t make a trip to visit the former president at his famous Florida resort. To that end, DeWine’s main challenger Jim Renacci said he also did not seek Trump’s approval, noting that if he chose to do so it would likely be him, and closer to the primary.

We have to postpone: The coronavirus wave that first hit northeast Ohio has spread to other parts of the state, with hospitals in Columbus, Dayton and Cincinnati now delaying elective procedures, Hancock reports. In the Cleveland area, almost all cases of the coronavirus are of the omicron strain.

College rankings: While it’s no surprise that Ohio State University, with 61,577 students on the main campus, had the most enrollments in fall 2021, another 206,156 students attended the other 13 public universities. from Ohio. Hancock has a list of each by registration.

Viral arguments: The debate over whether the Biden administration can force private employers and hospitals to demand vaccines and coronavirus tests for their workers unfolded in the nation’s highest court on Friday as the state of Ohio joined several other groups in arguing that the federal government had overstepped its authority, Eaton reports. Ohio Solicitor General Benjamin Flowers, who argued the state’s case by phone because he tested positive for COVID-19 the week before, told court the federal government couldn’t impose workplace rules to mitigate a risk that is everywhere, such as a virus.

In the money: Representative Tim Ryan has raised $ 2.9 million for his campaign in the United States Senate in the last three months of 2021, Niles Democrat announced on Friday. The Federal Election Commission deadline is only at the end of the month, and Ryan shared his fundraising total, which also includes $ 5 million in cash, in a press release, which means that more details are not yet available.

Veterans’ health: New U.S. Representative Shontel Brown, Democrat of Warrensville Heights, introduced her first bill last week with a group of colleagues including Northeast Ohio Republicans Dave Joyce and Anthony Gonzalez. Their “More Opportunities for Veterans to Practice Act, or MOVE Act,” would improve the ability of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to provide ex-military personnel with access to preventive health programs by allowing the VA to rent a space for this purpose.

Try, try again: A group trying to get an anti-vaccine mandate law back on the state ballot failed to make it through the first step of the legal process. Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said on Friday that county election councils found supporters of ‘Choice of vaccines and gene therapy and anti-discrimination’ failed to submit petitions valid containing 1,000 signatures of registered voters. “If you plan to resubmit a petition, please review the legal requirements for submitting petitions and partial petitions,” Yost said. Yost added that because of the problem with the petitions, his office did not consider whether the consolidated text proposed by the group complied with the law – the problem that led Yost to reject the proposal in December.

Schott down: David Schottenstein, a 38-year-old relative of retail director Jay Schottenstein, is expected to plead guilty early next month to exploiting his family ties to profit from illegal tips, the Wall Street Journal reports. The Columbus-based Schottenstein family have managed or founded furniture and clothing companies including American Eagle Outfitters, Designer Brands Inc., and Value City Furniture. David Schottenstein allegedly took advantage of non-public information he obtained from the son of Jay Schottenstein, his first cousin, who has not been charged.

Turn the page : Now that he is the highest Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, US Representative Mike Turner from Dayton wants to reduce his partisan friction even though he has already clashed with his top Democrat, Californian Adam Schiff, Political reports. “When it comes to national security, I have a solid reputation for being able to work across the aisle and trying to advance what’s important to our country,” Turner told the publication. “And I will continue in this vein.”

As you wish: Sixteen students – all represented by the same Akron law firm – are suing four Ohio universities over their vaccine mandates, Reports by Sheridan Hendrix for the Columbus Dispatch. Mendenhall Law Group, with the support of the Ohio Stands Up !, a right-wing advocacy group with a recent history of funding unsuccessful legal challenges of COVID-19 restrictions, in recent weeks and months, sued Ohio University, University of Miami, Bowling Green State University and University of Cincinnati .

History of the process: The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has changed its policy on finding taxidermists and deer processors in response to a federal lawsuit, according to a group behind the lawsuit. As John Futty reports for the Columbus Dispatch, the wildlife division of the ODNR now requires its agents to obtain a warrant if a company does not consent to a search. The Institute of Justice filed a lawsuit in federal court in November on behalf of a Hocking County taxidermist and deer processor, who said ODNR officers had searched his business multiple times over the years. year.

In the dark: The state of Ohio collected more than $ 2 billion last month in tax revenue from the general revenue fund, beating forecasts by nearly $ 244 million, according to preliminary figures released Friday. This included state income taxes ($ 130.7 million, or 15.1%, above estimate), non-auto sales taxes ($ 80.7 million, or 8.5 %, above estimate), automobile sales taxes ($ 10.1 million, or 7.8%, above estimate) and trade taxes, activity taxes ($ 2.4 million, or 23.1%, above estimates). “Ohio’s fiscal position is strong. We will monitor economic indicators and continue the conservative fiscal practices that have kept our state on solid footing, ”Kimberly Murnieks, director of state budget, said in a statement.

Full disclosure

Five things we learned from the May 13, 2021 financial disclosure of State Representative Brett Hillyer, a Republican from Uhrichsville:

1. In addition to his statutory salary, he also earned an amount of $ 50,000 to $ 99,999 as a lawyer with Connolly Hillyer & Ong. He also paid $ 1,000 to $ 9,999 for legal services in Freeport and Roswell, two villages in east-central Ohio.

2. He is a partner of BSC Land and Energy and title agent for Connolly, Hillyer & Welch.

3. At one point in 2020, he owed Wells Fargo and Sally Mae at least $ 1,000.

4. He received $ 2,584 in travel expenses to the Ohio House.

5. In August 2020, he received a trophy worth $ 120.40 from the Ohio Association for Justice, which named him Lawmaker of the Year.


Alisha Nelson has stepped down as director of RecoveryOhio, Governor Mike DeWine’s initiative for drug addiction and mental health disorders, to take a job in the private sector, according to a statement from DeWine. Aimee Shadwick, deputy director of RecoveryOhio, was appointed interim director on Saturday.


Torey Hollingsworth, director of the Dayton City Commission office; Former Senator Charleta Tavares

Straight from the source

“Normally, no one in their right mind would highlight a poll paid for by an opposing campaign because they are often designed to support their candidate, but this one is special.”

Samantha Cotten, spokesperson for Mike Gibbons’ campaign in the US Senate, in a sarcastic email to reporters on Friday. She was pushing back an internal poll by rival Republican candidate Jane Timken as the Timken campaign boasted Friday as showing it in the mix for the head, but which showed that Timken’s position had fallen slightly from November.

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