Ohio Supreme Court looks to lighten docket

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Beginning Friday, Ohioans are losing the right to appeal disputed tax decisions directly to the state's high court.

The change was slipped into the state budget bill at the request of the Ohio Supreme Court.

Justices argue it was necessary to lighten their docket of a flood of market-driven property tax disputes and to preserve their role as arbiters of significant legal questions.

A high court analysis found only 14 of the 152 appeals of Ohio Board of Tax Appeals decisions filed in 2014 involved matters of law deserving its attention.

Business groups opposed to the change predict it will have sweeping consequences for businesses, individuals and governments.

Some contend the court overreacted to a rare spike in cases disputing falling property values to erase a nearly 80-year-old taxpayer right.

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