Owners of commercial and industrial property in Ohio will get a letter soon reminding them they'll be paying more this year.
Planning for an influx of calls from affected property owners, the Lucas County auditor's office sent out more than 9,000 letters yesterday to explain House Bill 66, which was approved in June. For local owners of commercial and industrial land, that means elimination of the 10 percent tax rollback they've come to expect.
For example, owners of industrial or commercial property with an assessed market value of $100,000 will see an additional $256 on their tax bill because of the elimination of the rollback.
"This was just one line in all those other things that changed. Unfortunately, we get to administer this one line," said Jerry German, director of the real estate division. "As a courtesy to taxpayers, we wanted to tell them in a letter what to expect. We didn't want to be crushed with thousands of callers, so we thought we'd let them know a couple weeks in advance."
In the early 1970s, the state put an income tax on the ballot with the promise of a 10 percent reimbursement on all property taxes if it passed. So, every year, the county auditor sends a bill to Columbus for the 10 percent in taxes property owners didn't pay, Mr. German said.
In June, however, that 10 percent rollback was eliminated for all commercial and industrial properties with the adoption of a new state tax law.
So although the tax rate has not increased and places like schools and zoos will not see more money, commercial and property owners will see a 10 percent hike in their taxes. About 25,000 properties will be affected in Lucas County, Mr. German said.
The new tax law is in effect for the 2005 property tax bills payable in 2006 and will be reflected on property tax bills calculated this month. The change is separate from the revaluation to be conducted by the county for 2006.
The Toledo Area Chamber of Commerce said it does what it can to make sure businesses are made aware of changes in laws that affect them. However, many people will likely be taken by surprise.
Detailed information about the new law is available on-line at the county's Web site, www.lucascountyoh.gov. Commercial and industrial property owners can also contact the auditor's real estate division or the treasurer's real estate department.