XENIA — Greene County’s auditor is reminding property owners affected by the Memorial Day tornadoes that they could get some relief when it’s time to pay their 2020 taxes.
David Graham said July 18 at a Board of Commissioners meeting that he’s trying to get the word out about the destroyed and damaged property deduction program — a state program that is administered locally by county auditors, offering property tax relief to tornado victims.
More than 3,000 Dayton area properties were damaged by the storms, Graham said in an earlier release.
“One of the biggest problems we have is people who have lost their house — they’re hard to get a hold of to let them know the tax breaks that they’re entitled to for having lost their house,” Graham began. “Under current state law, the property owner has to file an injured and destroyed property form and that form must be notarized. Obviously this is not the top priority for somebody who has just lost their house or received substantial damage to their house.”
Owners of properties that experienced significant damage are eligible to complete the damaged property form, which reduces the taxable value of the property based on the severity of damage, according to the auditor’s office.
“It’s a time of confusion … and if we can take some burden off of [people] with regards to the tax situation … I think it’s a very positive move,” Commissioner Bob Glaser said.
The destroyed and damaged property form can be found at www.co.greene.oh.us/Auditor. Completed forms should be mailed to Greene County Auditor, 69 Greene St., Xenia, Ohio 45385. Property owners can visit the county auditor’s office if they need a notary. Property owners should complete the form by the end of August.
“If [property is] destroyed this year, that would be reflected on next year’s taxes,” County Administrator Brandon Huddleson said.
Property taxes are paid a year in arrears in Ohio. This means that the property tax bills that residents will receive later this month are based on the value of their property on Jan. 1, 2018, and will not reflect damage done to properties by the tornadoes, the auditor’s office stated in a release. Instead, property owners who receive the damaged property deduction will see the tax savings on their 2020 tax bills.
Graham also said at the meeting that he is working with Rep. Rick Perales (R-Beavercreek) on legislation that would authorize the county auditor to fill out the property form on behalf of the property owner if the auditor were able to ascertain the damage was done and the date it was done.
“To me, it’s a very logical thing to do for people who are going through a situation of losing their home,” Graham said. “Their first thought isn’t, ‘What will be the impact on my taxes next year?’ ”
The Greene County Auditor’s Office can be reached at 937-562-5065.