Thursday, September 25, 2008

Storm Damage Tax Reduction Deadline

by Dante Brunetto

After the windstorms from Hurricane Ike swept through Ohio two weeks ago, the focus for most people was getting power back and clearning up the damage. But Athens County Auditor’s office has switched damage control, to damage repair. Jill Thompson, Athens County Auditor, sent out a news release last week to inform home and business owners they can receive a reduction in the taxable value of their property to account for any structural damage caused by the storm.

Taxpayers can receive up to a 50 percent reduction for damage that occurred anytime from July to September as long as they file a claim on or before December 31st. However, any damage occurring from October to December can only get a maximum 25 percent reduction and must be filed on or before January 31st.

Even though the application deadline for a 50 percent reduction isn’t until the end of December, the county appraiser must come out to assess the damage before October 1. If the damage is assessed after the month of September, the possible reduction is reduced to 25 percent.

Bob Drain, Athens County property appraiser, talks
about the process for claiming property damage.

According to Ohio law, property owners are entitled to claim a reduction in the taxable value of their property. Thompson stated in a news release, “With the tremendous wind damage that occurred recently, property owners deserve the relief that this law provides. My staff will be available to assist applicants in completing the form properly so they can get the reduction they are entitled to.”

Dave Owen, Chief Deputy Auditor, says that only few reports have been turned in all year, most of which were for fire or flood damage. Athens resident, Ross Golding, was not aware of Ohio’s tax reduction law until his home was damaged by the storm. Golding says his landlord informed him that he would need to assess all of the damage and fill out the property damage form for the County Auditor.

Athens resident, Ross Golding, describes the damage that
the windstorm did to his home.

To make a claim on property damage, stop by the Real Estate Division of the County Auditor’s Office at 21 S. Court Street. The form can also be retrieved online at For additional information, contact the Auditor’s office at 740-592-3223.

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