A bill sought by local estate attorneys to protect more assets from creditors passed the Ohio House last week.
The Ohio House voted 86-0 last week to approve House Bill 479, which would protect more of Ohio residents’ assets and estates from creditors.
The bill’s joint sponsors are State Rep. Christina Hagan, R-Marlboro Township, and State Rep. Louis Blessing, R-Cincinnati.
The bill approved on June 13 now goes to the Ohio Senate. If it becomes law, it would generally increase the value of a primary residence exempt from collection attempts by creditors from $20,200 to $350,000. This homestead exemption does not apply for mortgages or tax debts.
The assets in college saving 529 plans and any individual retirement plan assets inherited by heirs would also be exempt.
In an email, Hagan wrote that the bill would allow Ohioans to employ “Domestic Asset Protection,” protecting “assets from claims (from creditors), which may not be insurable.” She said that would encourage fiduciary service businesses to create an estimated 3,000 to 4,000 jobs in Ohio. That’s because Ohio residents seeking to shield their assets would be less likely to send those assets to other states with “domestic asset protection” laws.
“Our hope is that Ohioans who are able to keep more of what they have worked hard to earn will be more likely to keep it and invest it here in Ohio and our financial institutions,” Hagan said in prepared remarks on the House floor.
She said North Canton Councilman Dan Griffith, At-Large, an estate attorney and the senior trust officer at Premier Bank & Trust, along with local estate attorney Brian Layman met with her about a year ago to encourage her to introduce the bill.
The House also voted 85 to 5 to approve Senate Bill 314, the Senate companion bill that’s very similar to the JobsOhio 2 bill sponsored by Hagan and State Rep. Mike Dovilla, R-Berea. The office of Gov. John Kasich largely drafted both bills, and Hagan agreed to joint sponsor the House version. With State Sen. Scott Oelslager, R-North Canton, and State Sen. Joe Schiavoni, D-Boardman, voting “yes,” the Ohio Senate voted 30 to 1 to send the bill to Kasich. After it’s signed into law, it would create the new TourismOhio office, fund it with sales tax money collected due to any growth in tourism and eliminate steps in the procedures for businesses to get economic development loans and tax credits.
No Stark County legislator voted against the bills.
State representatives Stephen Slesnick, D-Canton, was not present for the vote on HB 479, and Mark Okey, D-Carrollton, was not present for votes on HB 479 and SB 314.