WASHINGTON, DC – Ohio Sen. Vernon Sykes, a Democrat from Akron, last month reimbursed Franklin County $52.72 for wrongfully taking the homeowner’s occupancy tax credit from the property. of Columbus that he and his wife, Barbara, own through a trust that their children will inherit.
The Owner Occupancy Credit is a state program that offers owners a 2.5% tax reduction on their principal residence. The couple took the tax credit on their Akron home in addition to the Columbus property for several years, even though homeowners aren’t supposed to take the tax credit on multiple properties.
In an interview on Friday, the couple blamed the error on a paperwork error. They said the $52.72 they paid Franklin County was the total amount they had underpaid on their taxes over the years due to the homeowner’s occupation tax credit. Franklin County records show they got a $12.91 credit on their last tax bill through the program.
Barbara Sykes said the two properties were placed in trust with their children as beneficiaries as an estate planning tool. Their children — including Ohio Rep. Emilia Sykes — will have no control over the properties until their parents pass away, Barbara Sykes said.
Emilia Sykes is running for a newly reconfigured congressional seat that includes all of Summit County, part of Portage County and northern Stark County. It listed the Columbus and Akron properties owned by the Sykes-Strong Family Irrevocable Trust among its assets in a financial disclosure statement filed in April with the U.S. House of Representatives.
A spokesperson for Sykes’ congressional campaign said she does not control the properties or pay taxes on them. He said she listed them as assets because she had a “future interest” in them. The disclosure form says she is a “relief trustee” of the Sykes-Strong family irrevocable trust.