JOHNSTON, Ohio (WKBN) – Ashtabula County Auditor David Thomas is running for state representative.

He made the announcement Wednesday at his family’s farm in Johnston. Thomas wants to represent the new 65th District, which covers a good portion of Ashtabula County and the northern and eastern portions of Trumbull County.

The old 65th District is currently represented by Mike Loychik.

Thomas said one of the reasons he is running is because the property tax system is broken. He called it a burden on seniors and local farmers.

“We can’t have farmers with the budgets that they do with rising inflation, higher costs facing those types of tax increases at a time when we need local. We need sustainable food here in our own communities,” Thomas said.

Thomas is a Republican and has served as the Ashtabula County Auditor since his election in 2018.

“A large policy change that’s happening, that’s going to be impacting farmers tremendously…people in Ashtabula and similar (to what) Trumbull is experiencing — 300% increases in your values for your farms in property tax purposes — 300% increase in values. They’re just unsustainable,” Thomas said.

Dominic Marchese with Manna Farms said that he worried about his bottom line.

“I shudder to think about that because, basically, we’re at a break-even status right now. What you pay out in parts/repairs and all your taxes compared to what you bring in, it’s about a break-even situation. And being on a fixed income the only way we are surviving is from pensions,” Marchese said.

Farmers said increasing taxes on farms will automatically mean that all prices will go up on products raised on a farm.