Duties & Responsibilities

Personal Property Real Estate Responsibilities Other
Estate Tax Real Estate Taxes Licensing Homestead Exemption
General Accounting Manufactured Housing Data Processing Additional Duties
Special Assessments Real Estate Appraisal Weights & Measures
Personal Property Tax  

Estate Tax

The County Auditor acts as an agent for the Tax Commissioner of Ohio. The monies collected from this source are distributed by law: 80% to the taxing district in which the decedent had resided or owned property and the remainder to the State of Ohio.

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General Accounting

  • Administration and Distribution of Tax Revenues
  • Accounting for All County Funds
  • Administration of County Payroll
  • Produces Official Financial Reports for County, State and Federal Governments

The County Auditor is the Chief Fiscal Officer in each County. It is his/her responsibility to account for the millions of dollars received each year by each County and to issue warrants (checks) in payment of all County obligations, including the distribution of tax dollars to the townships, villages, cities, school districts and library systems as well as other county agencies. The Auditor's General Accounting Department is the watchdog over all county funds and maintains the official records of all receipts, disbursements and fund balances.

It is the Auditor's responsibility to serve as the paymaster for all County employees.

The Auditor also distributes motor vehicle license fees, gasoline taxes, estate taxes, fines and local government funds in addition to real estate, personal property and manufactured home taxes.

As Chief Fiscal Officer in each county, the Auditor is required by law to prepare the County's annual financial report. Most counties prepare a Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR).

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Special Assessments

Special Assessments are not part of your real estate tax, but are included as a separate item on the real estate tax bill. These could include such items as ditch assessments, improvement levies such as street paving, curbs, lighting, sidewalks and sewer or water lines. The Auditor is required by law to keep an accounting of these special assessments, to place them on the tax duplicate as separate items, and to return the money collected to the city, village, township or county office which levied the assessment.

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Personal Property Tax

The County Auditor, as an agent for the Ohio Department of Taxation, is responsible for administering the Tangible Personal Property Tax assessed to public utilities.

The Tangible Personal Property Tax is distributed back to the local taxing districts in the same manner as real estate taxes.

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Real Estate Taxes and Rates

  • Administration of Special Assessments
  • Preparation of General Tax List
  • Administration of Tax Refunds and Abatements

Under law, the County Auditor cannot raise or lower property taxes. Tax rates are determined by the budgetary requests of each governmental unit, as authorized by the vote of the people, and are computed in strict accordance with procedures required by the Division of Tax Equalization, Ohio Department of Taxation.

Annually, the Auditor prepares the General Tax List. Your tax bill is based on the tax rate multiplied by your valuation on this tax list. This is your proportional share of the cost of operating your local government including schools, townships, villages and the county.

Ohio law limits the amount of taxation without a vote of the people to what is known as the "10 mill limitation" ($10.00 per $1,000 of assessed valuation). Any additional real estate taxes for any purpose must be voted by county residents. Your "tax rate" is an accumulation of all these levies and bond issues.

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Manufactured Housing

Under Ohio law, it is the responsibility of owners of manufactured homes (house trailers) to register their homes with the County auditor for tax purposes. Annually, the Auditor's office assesses each manufactured home and prepares a tax list. Tax bills are sent to each owner semi-annually. The house trailer tax is distributed back to the local taxing districts (townships and schools) in the same manner as real estate taxes. Statewide there are over 200,000 manufactured homes on the tax lists.

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Real Estate Appraisal and Assessment

The State of Ohio has more than 5.5 million separate parcels of real property. It is the duty of the Auditor to see that every parcel of land and the buildings thereon are fairly and uniformly appraised and assessed for tax purposes. A general reappraisal is mandated by Ohio law every six years with an update at the three year midpoint. The office maintains a detailed record of the appraisal on each parcel in the county. These records are open for public inspection. For taxation purposes, you are assessed at 35% of fair market value.

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The Auditor's office is the focal point in the county for issuance of licenses for dogs, kennels, vendors and cigarettes. Dog licenses comprise the largest number of licenses sold. The annual dog registration is a service designed to benefit the animal, its owner and the community.

Vendor licenses authorize businesses to sell tangible property to the public and collect sales tax, a part of which is returned for use on the local level.

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Data Processing

The Auditor is responsible for the management of the County Data Processing Center and serves as the Chief Administrator of the Automatic Data Processing Board. Changes in computer systems and planning must be approved by the Board to automate various county functions. Improving financial and record keeping systems of the county will improve services, reduce costs and provide county officials with a modern management tool to better administer the business of government.

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Weights and Measures

The Auditor is the Sealer of Weights and Measures for the entire County, thus protecting the general public from the possible loss which may occur from faulty measuring devices, such as scales and pumps. The Auditor is charged with the responsibility of insuring that all State laws relating to weights and measures are strictly enforced.

Sealers perform "spot-checks" on pre-packaged items to test the weight of the contents. County sealers are certified by the Ohio Department of Agriculture. A few cities in Ohio employ their own sealers.

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Homestead Exemption and Property Tax Rollback

Real Estate Property Tax Rollback and Homestead Exemptions are forms of property tax relief.

The 10% rollback applies to non-business property, defined by state law to include all uses of property except farming; leasing property for farming; occupying or holding property improved with single-family, two-family, or three-family dwellings; or holding vacant land that the county auditor determines will be used for farming or to develop single-family, two-family, or three-family dwellings.

The County Auditor's office also administers the 2 1/2% Property Tax Reduction Law for residential and agricultural parcels on which there is a home site occupied by the owner.

In addition, the Homestead Exemption is open to any Ohio homeowner who currently lives in their home including manufactured homes, and that home is their primary residence, who:

  • Is at least 65 years old or will reach age 65 during the current tax year; or
  • Is certified totally and permanently disabled as of Jan. 1 of the current tax year, regardless of age; or
  • Is the surviving spouse of a qualified homeowner, and who was at least 59 years old on the date of their spouse’s death and meets the income threshold--found on form DTE 105A. Manufactured homes are also included in this Homestead Program.

Eligible homeowners are able to shield $25,000 worth of the market value of their home from local property taxes. Applications are available at the County Auditor's Office.

In addition, veterans that are certified 100% disabled due to a service-related injury will qualify for a reduction in taxable value up to $50,000 of the market value of their eligible homestead.

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County Auditors' Additional Duties

  • Budget Commission, Secretary
  • Board of Revision, Secretary
  • Tax Incentive Review Council - Member
  • Records Commission - Member
  • Data Processing Board - Secretary, Administrator
  • Microfilm Board - Member

Budget Commission - The Auditor is the permanent Secretary of the Budget Commission which also includes the County Treasurer and the Prosecutor. It is the responsibility of the Commission to annually review the tax budgets of all taxing districts within the county and to determine that all tax levies are properly authorized and allocated to local governments and libraries.

Board of Revision - The Auditor is the permanent Secretary of the Board of Revision which also includes the County Treasurer and the President of the Board of Commissioners. It is the responsibility of the Board of Revision to rule on property assessment prior to the issuance of the real estate tax list. Property valuation complaints are also heard.

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