Disabled veterans
to get tax break
Columbus — Gov. John Kasich has signed into law legislation that will provide disabled veterans with an increased break on their property taxes.
House Bill 85 passed the Ohio House and Senate on unanimous votes just before lawmakers left the Statehouse for their summer recess, and the governor signed it behind closed doors last week.
HB 85 increases the homestead exemption total to $50,000 from $25,000 for military men and women with a “service-connected total and permanent disability” certified by the federal government.
There are no income eligibility requirements under the legislation, allowing an expanded exemption for any permanently disabled veteran who qualifies.
The homestead exemption was created more than four decades ago to reduce tax bills for seniors and is open to homeowners age 65 and older and to those who are “totally and permanently disabled” and their spouses.
— Marc Kovac , CApital Bureau

Kasich supports Taylor’s handling of timecard issue
Columbus — Gov. John Kasich said June 16 he supports Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor’s handling of a timecard issues that led to the departure of her chief of staff and other employee.
“We did exactly what you should do when you have a problem like that,” Kasich told reporters. “That person is gone, it’s been referred.”
Earlier this month, two employees in Taylor’s office resigned from their post after a public records request from the liberal blog Plunderbund revealed discrepancies in their time sheets and parking garage records.
Democrats last week announced plans to file public records requests for related documents, including keycard and scheduling data to determine Taylor’s whereabouts during workdays.
The administration has asked the inspector general’s office to investigate the two employees involved, and Kasich said Taylor handled the situation appropriately.
“You have 55,000 employees, you’re going to have problems,” the governor told reporters. “The key is what do you do with it, and I think Mary did the right thing, and I support her.”
— Marc Kovac , CApital Bureau

Businesses will hear of tax overpayments
Columbus — State tax officials will now be required to inform businesses of overpayments and provide refunds or credits against future tax bills, under a new law signed by Gov. John Kasich this week.
Senate Bill 263 codifies a practice instituted by the Ohio Department of Taxation after it determined the state was pocketing millions of dollars in overpayments rather then returning them to filers.
The situation came to light a couple of years ago, when Kasich and the state’s tax director announced that about 3,500 businesses would receive $13 million-plus in refunds due to overpayments. The state inspector general’s office later identified more overpayments as part of a review prompted by a separate investigation of employee theft.
The tax department has since been contacting businesses to inform them of overpayments, but lawmakers wanted to change state law to ensure that future overpayments are refunded quickly.
— Marc Kovac , CApital Bureau

Police say bad
heroin led to deaths
Akron — Authorities in Akron say five people have died and several others have overdosed recently, likely from a “bad batch” of heroin going around the region.
The Akron Beacon Journal reports that two men were found dead from overdoses this week in Akron, and at least three other heroin-related deaths have been reported in the past two weeks in the city.
Police issued a warning June 18, telling “illicit drug users not to take heroin which they procured over the past few weeks.”
Police Lt. Rick Edwards says detectives aren’t sure what’s causing the recent rash of heroin-related deaths. They speculate a deadly ingredient was added, or that the heroin is nearly pure and extremely potent.
— Associated Press

Wife pleads guilty
in judge’s poisoning
Ashtabula — A woman accused of trying to use antifreeze to poison her husband, a Northeastern Ohio judge, pleaded guilty June 18 to one count of felonious assault.
The woman, Carla Hague, was charged last year with using the chemical in September to try to poison her husband of 45 years, Ashtabula County Common Pleas Juvenile-Probate Judge Charles Hague.
Carla Hague, 71, pleaded guilty in Ashtabula County court to the assault charge after original charges of attempted murder and contaminating a substance for human consumption were reduced.
Hague said she thought if she put the chemical in her husband’s drink, which court officials said was wine, he would stop drinking it, the station said.
She was sentenced to two years in prison, with release eligibility after six months.
Charles Hague was hospitalized and has recovered.
— Associated Press

— Associated Press