Franklin County Treasurer and Auditor’s offices say they are unsure when county residents can expect to know their 2021 property tax rates and bills.
The delay hinders those who look to pay all or some of their 2021 taxes early before the end of this year so they can deduct the property taxes on their 2020 federal income tax returns, said Monica Moran, spokeswoman for the county auditor’s office.
The delay also affects school districts and other governmental entities preparing budgets funded by property taxes, she said.
Who is responsible for the delay is the subject of some finger-pointing, with county officials blaming the delay on the Ohio Department of Taxation’s review of the county’s property tax rate information, normally submitted in early December. Moran said the auditor’s office was forced to wait on overlapping counties to submit their data before sending information to the state.
However, Gary Gudmundson, spokesperson for the Department of Taxation, said the county filed tax rates for review later than expected. In 2019, tax rates were filed on Dec. 10, and the department processed those figures on Dec. 17.
This year, Gudmundson said the county filed its tax rates on Dec. 16. He said the department expects to finalize its review “shortly.”
Once the state signs off on its review, Gudmundson said the county will have to confirm the accuracy of the full rates entered in the taxation system. The rates are then sent to the county treasurer’s office, which can then create and mail bills to property owners.
Treasurer Cheryl Brooks Sullivan said the state Department of Taxation has closed down much of its communication to focus on getting their review process completed. All the county can do is wait until the “holding pattern” is over, she said.
“We’re staying very closely connected as we wait out this process, so we’re able to move quickly once we get the data from the state,” Sullivan said.
Though the county cannot give a timeline, Sullivan said the auditor’s and treasurer’s office are prepared to move quickly once everything is aligned.
“There are steps that have to be done, but we’re ready to do our part once we get the information,” she said.
Once the bills are sent to the treasurer’s office, Sullivan said the information will be available online. Anyone with access to the agency’s website at https://treasurer.franklincountyohio.gov/ can see their tax bills before they receive them in the mail.