Dispersing $67 Million in Property Taxes
Auditor's Office Disperses $67 Million in Property Tax Dollars
Jefferson- Ashtabula County Auditor David Thomas announced the distribution of over $67 million in property tax payments to the county’s school districts, municipalities and other governmental entities in Ashtabula County’s final settlement of taxes paid during the first-half property tax collection period this past week.
“The roles for your property taxes can be somewhat confusing but you pay your bill to the Treasurer’s Office who collects and holds onto the money and then we in the Auditor’s Office determine your market value and amount owed while finally disbursing the tax amounts to local entities,” explained Auditor Thomas.
Thomas’ office had already advanced roughly half, $37.4 million, of the total amount in property tax funds to local entities that requested them during the tax collection period. This advancement was paid to county school districts which receive a prorated amount of tax revenue as taxes are paid to aid in cash flow as opposed to one large lump sum following collection.
“This year the only value changes would have been for new construction, demolition, or board of revision complaints,” said Auditor Thomas. “There were some tax rate changes with new levies but also several entities lowering their tax rate most notably the County Children Services.”
Thomas praised the Ashtabula County Children Service Board for voluntarily lowering their tax rate in 2022. Three other local governments worked with the County Budget Commission on lowering amounts including Pymatuning Valley Local Schools, Geneva on the Lake Village, and Austinburg Township.
“Most may not have realized but a majority of the county saw a tax decrease this year due to the good stewardship of these entities,” explained Auditor Thomas. “I always encourage folks to look at their tax bill to see the distribution of funds.”
Of the total $66.5 million distributed for the first half, the largest portions were distributed with $37 million going to school districts, $10.6 million to county wide agencies, $8.3 million to townships, and $5.3 million to cities and villages.
The county agencies include $4.2 million to the Board of Developmental Disabilities, $1.8 million to Children Services, $2.5 million to the Commissioner’s General Fund, and $1.1 million to the Senior Levy.
Ashtabula City received the highest city or village distribution with $2 million followed closely by Conneaut City with $1.4 million in property tax distribution. Townships rely almost exclusively on property taxes with Ashtabula Township receiving the largest portion of $1.7 million and Saybrook Township with $1.5 million.
The distribution process involves complex formulas and factors with over 60 taxing districts, each with its own rate. The auditor’s office must account for and distribute over $100 million in taxpayer dollars each year for property taxes in addition to other revenue streams from federal, state, and local sources.
“We are always happy to answer questions from residents about their property taxes and value,” shared Auditor Thomas. “This year the process was delayed due to software issues and problems we encountered but we were able to move forward regardless.”
The Auditor’s Office has web pages on their site with explanations and videos explaining tax distributions for individuals’ bills, the concept that government revenues stay largely flat despite changes in values, and the process for appealing property values through the Board of Revision.
Only 10 mills of property owners’ tax bills, $350 for a $100,000 home, are unvoted tax charges and change with value. The remainder is decided by voters in the form of levies on residents’ ballots and are capped at the local entity level to remain constant for revenue to the government.
Those with questions on their value, property tax credits, or tax distribution can contact Auditor David Thomas at email@example.com or call 440-576-3785.