DAYTON — As Montgomery County continues to recover from the Memorial Day tornadoes, Treasurer Russ Joseph and Auditor Karl Keith have been looking for ways to help those affected by the tornadoes reduce the burden of upcoming property tax payments.
“As we speak this morning, we know that hundreds of families are still in the process of picking up their lives. They’re dealing with insurance adjusters and getting quotes from contractors. Not to mention needing to find temporary housing and replace basic necessities. Our hearts go out to them and we stand ready to assist in any way we can,” said Treasurer Joseph on Tuesday.
As our community begins to recover from the tornadoes, business must go on in the treasurer’s office. Today, property owners across Montgomery County will begin receiving their property tax bills in the mail. For residents whose property was damaged by the storm, this bill will arrive as they are figuring out what their next steps are in the recovery process. It’s important to note that in Ohio, property owners pay their real estate taxes one year in arrears, meaning taxes they pay in 2019 are based on the value of their home in 2018.
“The timing of these tax bills could not come at a worse time for some of our residents, but the communities impacted by the recent storms are depending on these funds to help provide the critical services needed by residents,” Joseph said.
The Ohio Revised Code limits the discretion that county elected officials have to make adjustments or reduce penalties for those who pay their property taxes late, no matter the reason. However, Treasurer Joseph worked closely with Auditor Karl Keith and County Prosecutor Mat Heck to find a solution within the confines of the law.
In accordance with Ohio Revised Code (ORC 323.17), Treasurer Russ Joseph is offering to extend the due date of 2nd half real estate taxes by one year for any resident whose property lost more than 25 percent of its value as a result of the tornadoes. If approved, this extension would mean property owners would be given one year, without penalty, to pay their taxes that are currently due on July 19, 2019. Their new due date would be in July of 2020. At that time, the taxpayer would be responsible for paying both the amount originally payable in July 2019 and the amount that will be regularly payable in July of 2020.
“This extension will give people extra time to receive insurance claims, and hopefully make needed repairs to their homes before needing to worry about paying their taxes,” Joseph said.
Residents who are granted an extension can also work with the treasurer’s office to set up a payment plan that will break up their tax bill into monthly payments rather than get hit with one large bill in July of 2020.
Auditor Karl Keith also wants to remind residents how important it is to get their Damaged and Destroyed Property forms turned in as soon as people are able to. This will allow the auditor’s staff to make adjustments for 2019 taxes that are payable in 2020.
“After last month’s storms, as many as 5,000 property owners here in Montgomery County are facing devastating losses to their most important asset: their home,” Keith said. “Property owners should not be stuck paying a full tax bill on a property that has been destroyed. The Damaged Property Deduction may provide substantial tax relief to tornado victims.”
In order to make this process as simple as possible for those affected by the tornadoes, the treasurer’s office put together a checklist along with the needed documents which can be found on their website at www.mctreasurer.org. The packets can also be picked up in both the Treasurer and Auditor’s Office, or mailed upon request. Any resident who has questions or concerns about paying their property taxes may reach out to the treasurer’s office at 937-225-4010 option 1. Questions about the values of their properties should be addressed to the auditor’s office at 937-225-4326.
“It is a top priority for both Auditor Keith and myself to help county residents whose properties have been affected by the tornadoes, in any way we can. Please visit us in person, online or call us if you need assistance in applying for tax relief,” Joseph added.