Homestead tax exemption period now open

FranklinCountyAuditorBannerHomestead tax exemption period now open

Information by the Franklin County Auditor

More than 63,500 Franklin County homeowners are taking advantage of the homestead tax exemption. Those residents saved a combined $36 million in 2014.

The homestead exemption is a statewide program, administered here in Franklin County by Auditor Clarence Mingo, which allows qualified senior citizens and permanently and totally disabled homeowners to reduce their property tax burden by shielding some of the market value of their home from taxation.

The exemption, which takes the form of a credit on property tax bills, allows qualifying homeowners to exempt $25,000 of the market value of their homes from all local property taxes. For example, an eligible owner of a home with a market value of $100,000 will be billed as if the home were valued at $75,000.

Beginning with the 2014 tax year, the state of Ohio returned to the originally approved system of applying means/income testing to determine eligibility for the homestead exemption; and added an additional classification of recipient, disabled veteran, which allows for an increased reduction of $50,000.

To qualify for the senior and disabled persons homestead exemption, a homeowner must:

  • Own and occupy the home as their primary place of residence as of January 1 of the year for which they apply; and
  • Be 65 years of age, or turn 65, by December 31 of the year for which they apply; or
    Be totally and permanently disabled as of January 1 of the year for which they apply, as certified by a licensed physician or psychologist; or
    Be the surviving spouse of a person who was receiving the homestead exemption at the time of death and where the surviving spouse was at least 59 years old on the date of death.
  • Have a total income (for both the applicant and the applicant’s spouse) that does not exceed the amount set by the law, which is adjusted annually for inflation. “Total income” is defined as the adjusted gross income for Ohio income tax purposes. The current maximum allowed is $31,000 for the 2015 application period.

Those homeowners who already receive the homestead exemption do not need to reapply every year. However, if your circumstances change you must notify our office. A continuing homestead exemption application is sent each year to those homeowners who received the reduction for the preceding tax year. Please return this form only if there have been changes in eligibility status, e.g. you no longer own the home, no longer occupy it as your primary place of residence, or if your disability status has changed.

If you are not already a homestead tax exemption qualifier but believe you should be, please apply by Monday, June 1.

These reductions were created as a benefit for homeowners who live in Ohio and make it their permanent residence. To qualify for either the owner-occupied reduction or the homestead exemption for seniors or the disabled, a homeowner must own and occupy the homestead as their primary domicile as of January 1 of the tax year. A homeowner and his/her spouse are entitled to claim a reduction on one property only.

Should you have further questions and/or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact our office at 614-525-3240 or email us at

How to dispute a real estate tax valuation

Useful information provided by the Columbus Board of Realtors…

How to dispute a real estate tax valuation

Posted: 1/26/2012

Ralph F. Berger, MAI, SRA and Brian R. Berger R. F. Berger & Associates, Inc.
“Complaints will only be accepted from December to March 31”

Do you think your property is valued too high by the Auditor’s office for real estate taxes? There is a complaint process that is administered by the Board of Revision.

If you believe your value is high you will need undisputable evidence to support the valuation.

Once you appeal your value, it can go up, down, or stay the same.

Taxes are one year in arrears. Therefore, your tax bill that will come out around December 20, 2011, is for the valuation of your property up to 01/01/2011.

This means if you have an appraisal for the appeal it should be dated as of 01/01/2011.

If property values are dropping in your neighborhood in the year 2008, then this will take effect with your 2009 tax bill.

The county re-evaluates your property taxes every three years. Franklin County last re-evaluated your tax valuation in 2008 (also upon transfer assessed valuation is adjusted to the sales price).

Instruction on filing a tax complaint and forms are located on the Auditor’s web site. Once at the Auditor’s web site ( – click on the link to learn more about our Board of Revision.

Also you will need to pull up your property record card from the auditor’s office (under property search). This will have information needed to fill out the board of revision tax complaint form (i.e., tax district, parcel number, assessed valuation, owner of property and sales history).

Typically for residential properties, if the form is filled out properly and submitted and received before the deadline (March 31), and with evidence (an appraisal completed by a state licensed or certified appraiser) supporting a lower value, the board will make a decision and either will accept the appraisal value or set up a formal hearing.

The board of revision, the school board representative, and the person filing the tax complaint (and their attorney and/or appraiser) are usually the parties at the hearing.

The board will review your evidence (usually an appraisal or recent sales of properties or comparable sales of similar properties) for a lower property value. The school board attorney will also have the right to review the evidence and ask questions.

The board then takes the evidence under advisement and will notify by certified mail of their decision.

If the school board is involved they will (1) accept the board’s decision or (2) appeal the case if they are in disagreement.

The school board if in disagreement may elect to have the property appraised for the appeal. The school board has a vested interest in real estate property taxes as they receive most of their funds from these taxes.

The appeals hearing is similar to the first hearing except now there is an opposing side.

After all evidence is presented, the board again will take under advisement and notify of their decision later by certified mail.

It is very important to fill out the form completely and properly. If an entity other than an individual is owner of the property the complaint may need to be signed by an attorney. Be careful to meet the deadline, and have substantial evidence to show a reason for a lower value. This form needs to be notarized. Complaints will only be accepted from December to March 31.

I have appeared before several boards of revisions on numerous occasions and have found them to be very fair in both the complaint process and their decision.

The auditor’s office uses a mass appraisal system to determine the value of your property. The system is good, however, most are expected to be the correct property valuation, but some are also expected to be high and low.

We are currently in a buyer’s market in central Ohio as evidenced by larger inventory of houses, longer selling periods and generally leveling and declining prices. Therefore, tax complaints will probably increase in 2011 even though Franklin County has already completed re-evaluation of properties in 2011.”  –