Together with the Ohio Recorders Association, Ohio HB 72 – now law – modernizes existing law and saves you money in your county recorder’s office.
State and county governments are often among the last to modernize processes. Sometimes it is due to cost, and other times it is because of perception. As a former county recorder, I was involved in the Ohio Recorders Association and served on their legislative committee, dealing with the statutory issues that made it difficult for recorders to be efficient. Once elected to the Ohio House, I knew that I wanted to be of assistance to the recorders to make the necessary changes that are now helping their offices run more smoothly and are providing opportunities for recorders to save money.
I completely understand how important modernization is. When I modernized my recorder’s office in Delaware County, I was able to slash the budget year after year, saving the residents of the county tens of thousands of dollars. My office staff payroll was reduced through attrition, and we started thinking like we were in the 21st in the century, instead of in the 1950s. When this is planned well and thought through, modernizing can save taxpayers dollars in the short and long run.
Earlier in this General Assembly (G.A.), I introduced Ohio HB 72 to modernize the county recorder’s offices in this state. Rep. Ron Gerberry (D), also formerly a county recorder, co-sponsored the bill with me. The Ohio Recorders Association asked me to sponsor this bill, and helped us draft it, in order to make changes in these offices throughout all 88 counties. Knowing what modernization meant for my office, it was a “no-brainer” — when we can modernize and save money, we do it. Thankfully, Gov. Kasich agreed, and signed this bill in to law.
Some of the changes included in HB 72 were:
> Allowing computers. The law that existed prior to this act required books and paper, and other manual forms of record keeping. HB 72 provides for computers and other media, updating the terminology to accurately reflect how the county recorders record and keep instruments (documents) today.
> Streamlining record keeping. Who keeps six separate sets of records? Recorders had to. Now, instruments presented for recording will be kept in the recorder’s general record series known as the “official records.” With fewer sets of records to keep, fewer employees are required in the offices. This saves you money, and makes the offices more efficient.
> Reversed fees and fines. We reversed the fees associated with some of the antiquated forms of keeping records, and eliminated some of the fines that a recorder’s office itself may have to pay when there is a modernization issue.
> Record keeping for fracking, oil and gas. The act requires the lessor of natural gas and oil lands, and the owner of surface lands, to file a notice of a lessee’s or mineral interest holder’s failure to file a notice that the lease has not been forfeited or the mineral interest has not been abandoned.
> Helping taxpayers. Through several technical fixes, including altering how the corporate franchise tax credits are claimed, making sure property tax rollbacks can be claimed and other changes, we’re saving taxpayers and business owner’s money with this act.
View a more detailed analysis of the bill here.
Making sure they government tightens its belt is a priority of mine as I evaluate legislation, consider sponsoring bills and look to be a part of improving Ohio for all of us. If you ever have any questions or suggestions, please – feel free to contact me.