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Reducing your taxes

Homestead Exemption Provides Property Tax Relief for Senior Citizens and the Disabled: The Homestead Exemption is a statewide program that allows qualifying homeowners the opportunity to shield up to $25,000 of the market value of their homestead (a dwelling and up to one acre of land) from property taxation.

Starting in 2007 the Homestead Exemption was available to all homeowners 65 and older and all totally and permanently disabled homeowners regardless of income. However, Sub. House Bill 59, passed by the Ohio General Assembly and signed into law by Governor Kasich in 2013, made changes to the Homestead Exemption beginning with the applications for tax year 2014. Homeowners who were qualified for the exemption by tax year 2013 will remain under the old rules which do not consider the homeowner’s income. New applicants will only be eligible if they meet the current income guidelines.

For more details, including an application form and answers to questions, please contact the Ross County Auditor's office at 740-702-3080 or tomspetnagel@rosscountyohio.gov.

NEW Homestead Exemption for 100% DISABLED VETERANS and their surviving spouse: Beginning with tax year 2014, 100% disabled veterans and their surviving spouse may qualify for this exemption. If you are a veteran of the armed forces of the United States, including reserve components thereof, or the National Guard, and have received a permanent, total service connected disability rating, you may qualify for a reduction in taxes equal to the amount of tax that would be charged on the first $50,000 of the market value of your home. There are NO INCOME RESTRICTIONS for this exemption.

For more details, including an application form and answers to questions, please contact the Ross County Auditor's office at 740-702-3080 or tomspetnagel@rosscountyohio.gov.

Owner Occupancy Credit (formerly known as the 2 ½ % Tax Reduction) for Owner-Occupied Home: To receive the owner occupancy credit tax reduction you must: (1) own the home, (2) occupy the home as your principal place of residence and (3) apply with the County Auditor between January 1st and the first Monday in June. The reduction applies to the home site and the home itself. It does not apply to: (1) rental homes or apartments, (2) homes occupied by someone other than the owner, (3) homes owned by corporations, partnerships, associations or groups, (4) units within a building primarily for retail, commercial or other non-residential purposes, (5) manufactured or mobile homes taxed under the depreciation method and (6) excess acreage over one acre.

Please check your tax bills to see if you are already receiving the reduction. Applications may be picked up from and filed with the County Auditor’s office between January 1 and the first Monday in June each year.

Board of Revision: If you do not agree with the valuation of your property as determined by the County Auditor, you have the right to file an appeal with the Ross County Board of Revision. The Treasurer, the Auditor, and the President of the Board of County Commissioners are each members to the Board of Revision. Appeals must be filed with the County Auditor's Office between January 1st and March 31st.

The purpose of an appeal is to show that the valuation of your property, as set by the County Auditor, is incorrect. To do so you must present evidence of the property's fair market value. The best evidence is usually the recent sale price of your property (proven by relevant documents such as your closing papers). If your house has not been sold recently, you should be prepared to demonstrate the recent sale price of comparable homes. Evidence of the condition of the property, including photographs, may also be useful. For further information, please contact the County Auditor’s office at 740-702-3080.

Penalty Remission: A taxpayer may request a remission (removal) of a penalty that has been assessed against real estate or manufactured home taxes. Penalties may be remitted for the following reasons:

  • Taxpayer did not receive a tax bill or a correct tax bill and attempted to obtain one.
  • Tax payment was mailed on or before the due date but was not delivered/processed by the Treasurer’s office. (Evidence of a timely mailing must be submitted – a private meter postmark is not a valid postmark for establishing the payment date.)
  • Tax was not timely paid because of serious injury or death of the taxpayer, or hospitalization of the taxpayer within 60 days preceding the due date, but was paid within 60 days after the due date.
  • Tax was not paid by due date because of negligence or error of the Auditor or Treasurer.
  • Taxpayer’s failure to make timely payment of the tax was due to reasonable causes and not willful neglect. Requests in this category will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis as long as the taxpayer has been timely in each of the last three years.

Application for remission of Real Property and Manufactured Home Late Payment Penalties must be submitted to the Treasurer using the following form:

Please contact the Treasurer's office for additional information at 740-702-3080 or email us at treasurer@rosscountyohio.gov.
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