YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Speaker of Ohio’s House of Representatives says he wants lawmakers to proceed carefully as they look at ways of easing the pain some homeowners may face next year with property taxes.

Republican Representative Jason Stephens said even though recent property values have increased in Ohio, his goal is to ensure resulting tax increases don’t force property owners out of their homes.

“They may have lived in a house for 40 years, and all the neighbors have sold, and their values have gone up, and now their taxes have increased as a result,” said Stephens. “The other thing I think is important is we wanna make sure that young people are able to buy a home and they’re not stuck renting because it’s cheaper to rent.”

Valley Representative Al Cutrona recently proposed a bill that would freeze property taxes at last year’s levels.

Stephens said lawmakers need to be careful if they try to enact legislation affecting tax rates because of the potential ripple effects changes would have in other areas of state and local government.