Senate Bill 5, which attempts to revise municipal annexation law, has passed the Ohio House and Senate and awaits Gov. Taft's signature. Some elements of the bill:
Cost increases could include hearing and legal costs and potential losses in revenue for municipalities from an increase in the number of annexations denied.
The bill could result in more annexation rejections, which could have varying effects on school district money flows.
Townships would better be able to challenge an annexation effort. It would enable townships to keep more revenue or receive higher payments from municipalities where annexation is approved.
The bill makes townships a necessary party in the annexation hearing and gives them room to appeal.
It lowers burden of proof in cases where an approved annexation is appealed. Current law requires those appealing to prove their case with clear and convincing evidence. The bill would change that to a preponderance of the evidence test, a much lower standard.
Provides for three special annexation procedures in which all property owners sign an annexation petition.
Permits township trustees to examine witnesses and comment on all evidence presented at an annexation hearing.
Authorizes county commissioners to charge fees and issue subpoenas for annexation proceedings.
Source: Ohio Legislative Service Commission