A proposal which would allow a charge of up to $2 per page to download or print public records from county recorders' websites in Ohio apparently will not be adopted this year.
The office of Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Sen. Mark Wagoner, R-Ottawa Hills, states an amendment proposed by the Ohio Recorders' Association will not be put to a Senate vote. The amendment, attached to House Bill 247, was aimed at allowing recorders' offices to charge up to $2 a page, or up to a $500 annual subscription fee, to download or print public records from their government-funded web sites.
Keep in mind these are public records; they belong to members of the public, not government employees. Taxes and fees already charged by recorders' offices should cover costs associated with producing, digitizing and archiving documents, and making them available for viewing and printing via the Internet.
Plus, allowing a fee for printing documents over the Internet might prompt other county offices to charge similar fees.
Let's hope this idea is not resurrected during the next legislative session.
Recorders' fee schedule: