News Briefs Week of 2/15/2021

Staff Writer

Latta re-introduces
Death Tax legislation
On Feb. 4, Congressman Bob Latta (R-OH5) introduced the Permanently Repeal the Estate Tax Act of 2021, which would eliminate the Federal Estate Tax, also known as the death tax.
Latta introduced the legislation in previous Congresses and was a leader in the Ohio legislature of efforts to eliminate the Ohio Estate Tax.
The bill would repeal Chapter 12 of the tax code (estate tax provisions) and ensures that Americans are not taxed on the increased value of an estate by retaining the stepped-up basis at death.
“The death tax creates real and unfair consequences for our farmers, ranchers, and small business owners,” Latta said. “The federal government shouldn’t be taxing money that was already taxed, just because a person passes away. The death tax has an overwhelming economic impact due to the cost of life insurance and financial preparation needed to prepare for the tax. Americans deserve relief from this burdensome and unnecessary tax.”
Latta noted that, in sectors that require high-capital investment, such as agriculture, families often struggle to meet the tax requirements imposed by the Estate Tax because their liquid assets are much lower than the value of the land, property, and equipment.

OCCF gearing up
for productive year
At its annual organizational meeting, the Ottawa County Community Foundation, Inc. (OCCF) elected officers and board members for 2021.
Officers include Jan Preston, president; Deb Harmeyer, vice president; Marcia Jess, secretary and John Madison, treasurer. In addition, Mary Coffee, Tina Hablitzel, Brian Koenig and John Madison were elected to three-year terms on the board of trustees.
Following the unexpected loss of long-time president and founding member, Joy Roth, the board will be seeking an executive director. Nancy Heller has served as interim executive director since last October, and she will continue in this role until the board names a permanent executive director this spring. Information on how to apply for the position is available on the foundation website,
Preston highlighted how the foundation has grown since its founding in 1999.
“Our assets are currently over $10.2 million in more than 90 different funds and these funds are invested for the future. In 2020, we were able to award grants to 26 local organizations to support specific projects. Our scholarship funds provided over $143,000 to support 114 deserving students seeking higher education or continuing education. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we initiated a Rapid Response effort that has provided over $18,500 to address the emergency needs of nonprofit groups in the county,” Preston said.
The OCCF Grants Committee is accepting requests for Community Grants. Interested organizations can find a link to the portal on the foundation’s website. The deadline for applications is Monday, March 15.
“We also encourage Ottawa County high school seniors to work with their guidance office for details to apply for foundation scholarships,” Preston said. Email questions regarding grants or scholarships to
Preston thanked individuals and businesses for their generous response to the year-end Sustainability Fund campaign. “We are thrilled to share that The Burton D. Morgan Foundation is matching up to $20,000 on donations to the Sustainability Fund through March,” Preston said. “This support enables the Ottawa County Community Foundation to continue its quest of ‘Doing Good. Forever.’”

Genoa Library
closed for painting
The Genoa Branch Library will be closed for interior painting Feb. 16-22.
For the safety of patrons during this short renovation, the library will be closed to the public from Feb. 16-22, but will be available for curbside pick-up and phone reference. Printing and faxing services will still be available, but all requests should be completed via phone or online chat. Curbside pick-up will be available via the “Click and Collect” button on the SEO Libraries App, through the online form at or by calling the library. Requested items will then be delivered to patrons’ vehicles in the parking lot.
The library will also be closed Monday, Feb. 15 in observance of Presidents Day.
For more info, call 419-855-3380.

State of communities
The Eastern Maumee Bay Chamber of Commerce will hold a “State of the Communities 2021 on Feb. 18 from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. This is an opportunity to hear from local government and schools as they have navigated 2020 and look to 2021 and beyond. The chamber holds the “State of the Communities,” event every year. This year, it will be a virtual event. Registration is required. To register, download the link at

Grants available
for veteran
Chartered veterans service organizations throughout Ohio are encouraged to apply for the Veterans Post COVID Safety Grant.
The initiative is to assist these groups in safely operating amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As the newly-appointed Chair of the House Armed Services and Veterans Affairs Committee, I want to update these organizations on pandemic assistance availability,” said Rep. Haraz Ghanbari. “We’ve seen individuals, restaurants, and other businesses impacted by COVID-19 – our veterans' organizations are no exception to this. I encourage our veterans’ posts within Wood County and Ohio to take a look at the details and eligibility on this grant to ensure you receive the necessary aid you deserve.”
Under the initiative, each active veterans post is eligible for a $5,000 grant to assist in operating safely during the pandemic emergency. The grant is meant to help with costs for supporting increased sanitation, maintaining social distancing, personal protective equipment and other expenses to adhere to the public health orders.
The grants are for costs incurred for pandemic purposes between March 1, 2020, and present day.
The funding derives from federal dollars as a part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act under the Coronavirus Relief Fund.
For information and for veterans organizations to apply, visit
Rep. Ghanbari was appointed chairman of the House Armed Services and Veterans Affairs Committee last month.


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