The Auditor is responsible for a myriad of duties across all levels of county government. Although the Auditor is best known for the roll of tax assessor, it is only one of the many functions of the office. The following descriptions help give more detail into the many diverse duties of the Auditor.
Real Estate Appraisal and Assessment
Ohio has more than 5.5 million parcels of real property. Paulding County had over 17,000 parcels in 2011. It is the duty of the Auditor to see that every parcel of land and the structures thereon are fairly and uniformly appraised and assessed for tax purposes. A general reappraisal is mandated by law every six years, with an update at the three year midpoint. The last general reappraisal occurred in 2010, with the last update in 2007. The next general reappraisal is scheduled for 2013.
Real Estate Taxes and Tax Rates
annually, the Auditor prepares the General Tax List upon which the tax bills are derived. The bill is based on the tax rate in effect for the local government where the property is located, multiplied by the property valuation. The Auditor certifies the tax rate to the Ohio Department of Taxation. The Auditor also calculates annually, bond and emergency levy rates.
Special assessments are included as a separate item on the tax bill. These include items such as street paving, sewer or water lines, etc. The Auditor is required to keep an accounting of these special assessments, to place them on the tax duplicate as separate items, and to return the collected money to the local government which levied the assessment.
The Auditor is the Chief Fiscal Officer in the County. It is his responsibility to account for the millions of dollars received each year by the county and to issue warrants (checks) in payment of all County obligations, including the distribution of tax dollars to each township, village, city, school district, library and county agency.
The Auditor is the paymaster for all county employees. They also distribute 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, the Auditor is required to prepare the county's annual financial report (CAFR).
Owners of manufactured homes are required to register their homes with the Auditor for tax purposes. The Auditor assesses each manufactured home and prepares a separate manufactured home tax list.
Property Tax Rollback and Homestead Exemption
The Auditor administers the 10% rollback of property taxes to all non-commercial taxpayers. They also administer the 2-1/2% reduction for residential and agricultural parcels on which there is a home site occupied by the owner.
The Auditor also administers Ohio’s Homestead Exemption program in which senior citizens age 65 years or older and permanently disabled individuals under age 65 are eligible to receive reductions in real estate and manufactured housing taxes.
The Auditor acts as an agent for the Ohio Tax Commissioner and is responsible for local administration of Estate Tax proceedings and distribution of taxes.
Personal Property Tax
The Auditor is responsible for administering the Tangible Personal Property tax laws. Property is assessed from tax returns which are required to be filed. The tax is distributed back to the local taxing district in the same manner as real estate taxes.
Weights and Measures
The Auditor is the Sealer of Weights and Measures of the county per O.R.C. Section 319.55. They must see that all state laws relating to weights and measures are strictly enforced throughout their county. The Paulding County Weights and Measures Inspector (employees of the Auditor's Office) use highly accurate equipment to test and inspect commercial weighing and measuring devices such as scales and gasoline pumps. A seal is typically put on to show that the equipment was tested and found correct. The seal may vary from county to county, but always look for a seal. If you do not see one, ask the store manager. Contact the Auditor's Office if seals are missing.
The Auditor issues licenses for dogs, kennels, vendors and cigarettes. Dog licenses comprise the largest number of licenses sold. Vendor licenses authorize businesses to sell tangible property to the public and collect sales tax.
Additional Statutory Board and Commission Duties
The Auditor is the Secretary of the Budget Commission. This commission must annually review the tax budgets of all taxing districts within the county to determine that all tax levies are properly authorized and allocated to local government.
The Auditor is the Secretary of the Board of Revision. This Board is responsible for ruling on property assessment prior to the issuance of the real estate tax list. Complaints on valuation are also heard.
The Auditor is a member of the Tax Incentive Review Council that grants an exemption from taxation for abatements, enterprise zones or tax increment financing. The Council annually reviews all agreements of existing exemption.
The Auditor is a member of the Records Commission. This Commission is responsible for the review of all applications for records disposal.