COLUMBUS, Ohio — State Representative Jay Edwards (R-Nelsonville) announced that the Ohio House has passed legislation that would grant surviving spouses of public service officers killed in the line of duty an extension of Ohio’s homestead exemption.

House Bill 513 would give a widow or widower of a peace officer, firefighter, EMT, or paramedic a $50,000 homestead exemption. Ohio’s homestead exemption helps certain homeowners to reduce their property tax bills by shielding some of the market value of their homes from taxation.

“Peace officers, firefighters, EMT’s, and paramedics are the backbone of our community” Edwards said. “Their families deserve assistance if the worst were to happen. I am proud to support our first responders”.

Currently, Ohio’s homestead exemption applies to military veterans who are disabled and low- income senior citizens. Under House Bill 513, the surviving spouse must apply to the county auditor with a letter of verification from the department or state pension fund confirming the death of the officer in the line of duty.

House Bill 513 now awaits consideration by the Ohio Senate.