COLUMBUS—State Senator Andrew Brenner
(R-Powell) today stood before Chairman Lou Terhar and the Senate Ways and Means Committee
to give sponsor testimony on Senate Bill 35
, which will enhance the homestead tax exemption for surviving spouses of public service officers killed in the line of duty.
"Our first responders make so many sacrifices—to both themselves and their families—and sometimes they are called to pay the ultimate price in the name of public safety," said Brenner. "This bill is about giving back to those who make that ultimate sacrifice by providing some financial relief to their grieving spouses during a difficult time."
Under the legislation, the surviving spouse would be eligible to apply for a $50,000 tax exemption on one homestead of which they are the owner. In order to be considered, the application must include a letter affirming that the death happened in the line of duty or as a result of a fatal injury or heart attack sustained while in the line of duty.
According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund since the first known line-of-duty death in 1791, more than 21,000 U.S. law enforcement officers across the United States have made the ultimate sacrifice.
In the 132nd General Assembly, Brenner also favorably voted on legislation that expanded the length of time families of fallen first responders can draw full benefits, increasing up to the age of when the deceased would have been eligible for full retirement.
"It is my hope that we continue to take the appropriate steps to ensure the families of those who sacrifice so much for our communities continue to be taken care of," added Brenner.
For more information on Senate Bill 35, contact Senator Brenner's office at (614) 466-8086 or Brenner@OhioSenate.gov.