DAYTON — As final preparations are being made at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds, one thing is for sure: the competition will be fair at the Montgomery County Fair. Montgomery County Auditor Karl Keith and his weights and measures inspectors visited the fairgrounds on July 3 to ensure the scales that will be used for livestock competitions this week are accurate and fair.
But this week during the fair, Keith and his staff will be talking about a different type of “fair”: fairness for property owners impacted by the Memorial Day tornadoes.
“It’s not fair for a property owner to be stuck paying a full tax bill on a property that has been damaged or destroyed,” said Keith.
The Auditor’s Office will have a table with a property tax relief for tornado victims all week at the fair. Keith or a member of his staff will be there from Monday through Friday between 4-8 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday from 2-8 p.m. to help property owners complete applications for the damaged property deduction, which could offer them significant tax relief.
This program can provide tax relief for the tax bills that these property owners will receive next year, in 2020. The tax relief will come next year, because property taxes in Ohio are paid a year in arrears. The tax bills that property owners just received this summer will not reflect any damage done to properties by tornadoes, because the current bills are based on the condition of these properties as they were on January 1, 2018.
Not all property owners can make it to the fair, so help is also available at the Auditor’s Office, at 451 W. Third St., between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on business days. Affected property owners can find the Damaged Property Deduction application online at www.mcauditor.org or they can call 937-225-4326 to request a form by mail. Property owners should apply by August 31.
Elsewhere at the fair, farmers and 4-H members from across the county will come together to be judged on everything from cakes to cattle. Now that the scales are sealed as accurate, the competition can officially begin. Four scales were certified: one for sheep and goats, one for cattle, one for hogs and one for small animals such as chickens, turkeys and rabbits.
The weight of the animals determines their eligibility and class for competition. After the competition is complete, the livestock is sold to the highest bidder — by the pound. For this reason, the accurate weight is crucial to the judgment of the champion livestock and the amount of prize money the winner receives.
“The livestock scales are now certified, so the fair can officially begin,” said Keith. “Contestants often spend years raising their livestock for this moment, so it’s important for the scales to be accurate to fairly judge the winning animals.”
The County Auditor oversees the Weights and Measures department, which protects consumers by monitoring the commercial scales that can be found in grocery stores and other businesses. They test nearly 2,000 scales a year. In addition, they inspected more than 8,000 gas pumps and visited nearly 350 retailers where they price-checked more than 23,000 products.
This year marks the 167th anniversary of the Montgomery County Fair. The fair includes rides, concessions, competitions and performances and runs from July 8 through July 14.