Click here to read COVID-19 and Office Updates
 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are the answers to the most common questions asked about the work of the Franklin County Auditor’s Office. For additional information about a specific division of the office, please visit the webpage(s) of that division by clicking on the tabs above. You are also welcome to contact the office directly at 614-525-HOME (4663) or contact Michael.

How does property value impact my property taxes?
Your property value plays an important role in determining your property taxes. This is because your property taxes are calculated by applying your tax district’s tax rate to your property’s appraised value and accounting for any tax credits or incentives to which you are entitled such as the Homestead Credit, Owner Occupied Credit, or a tax abatement, among others. Therefore, a change in your property value, tax rate, and/or tax credit or incentive status could impact your property taxes. 
 
The role of our office in this process is to appraise property values for the purpose of tax assessment and to administer the incentives referenced above. However, our appraisers do not lower or raise property values in an effort to lower or raise property taxes. Rather, our goal is to establish fair and accurate values based on property characteristics, real estate market activity, and other relevant factors.
 
When it comes to increasing or decreasing property taxes, the power lies with the voters to approve or disapprove of property tax levies placed on the ballot. This means that a levy approved by the voters authorizes a specific increase in the overall tax revenue collected within the voters’ tax districts. Both the voter-approved levies and the total valuation of property within each tax district are then used by the Ohio Department of Taxation to calculate the tax rates throughout Franklin County. Learn more here.
 
I am receiving unwanted phone calls and text messages from people inquiring about my property. Is my phone number listed on the Auditor’s website?
We understand the concern caused by receiving unwanted inquiries related to your property. Please be assured that your Auditor’s Office does not publicly list the contact information of property owners unless their property is registered as a rental. If a property is being used as a rental, Ohio Revised Code 5323 requires that the owner of the property or their representative register it with our office. Ohio law also provides that this information is a public record, and, as a result, the name, address, and phone number of a property’s designated rental contact person is published on our website. To learn more about our rental registration program, please visit our rental registration webpage here
 
However, even if your property is not registered as a rental with our office, there are many other ways that people may find your phone number through various websites and online search services. If helpful, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission maintains a free National Do Not Call Registry that may help you reduce the number of telemarketing calls you receive. To register your phone number with the Do Not Call Registry, please visit www.donotcall.gov or call 1-888-382-1222.
 
 
I think the Auditor assessed valuation of my property is incorrect. What can I do?

If you feel that the Auditor’s appraised value of your property does not accurately reflect its true value, you may dispute the valuation by filing a complaint through the Franklin County Board of Revision (BOR). The BOR is comprised of the county auditor, treasurer, and president of the board of county commissioners or their representatives. Filing a complaint allows property owners to schedule a hearing before the BOR or participate the Auditor’s mediation program to share what you as the property owner feel the proper value should be. Through the BOR process, you may present information such as recent appraisals or current sales data for similar properties in your neighborhood to support your complaint.
 
For additional information about the Board of Revision, please visit our BOR webpage here.
 
A property owner can file a complaint with the Board of Revision by completing the Complaint Against the Valuation of Real Property (DTE 1) form and emailing it to BOR@franklincountyohio.gov, faxing it to 614-525-6252, or mailing it to Franklin County Auditor, Board of Revision, 373 S High St, 20th Floor, Columbus, OH 43215. Alternatively, you may electronically file your complaint through the online eFiling portal here: https://www.franklincountyauditor.com/real-estate/board-of-revision. Additional complaint forms related to the Board of Revision can also be obtained through the online Form Center.
 
Complaints can be filed with the BOR between November 30 and March 31.
 

What is mediation?

Mediation is a process by which property owners can settle Board of Revision (BOR) cases without a full BOR hearing. It involves the property owner participating in a conference call or in-person meeting with an independent mediator and a representative from the Franklin County Auditor’s Office (FCAO). Over the course of the conversation, the mediator facilitates negotiations between the property owner and the FCAO representative to help them reach a voluntary agreement regarding the disputed property value. The Board of Revision must then approve any agreement that is reached in mediation.
 
For additional information about the mediation process, including whether you may qualify, please visit the meditation webpage here!

You changed the Auditor assessed value of my property – why?

The Ohio Revised Code requires the county auditor to determine the taxable value of real property. As part of this duty, and in our effort to maintain accurate and up-to-date real estate records, you will see regular changes to your property’s appraised value. There are several reasons why your Auditor’s Office may have updated your appraised property value, including:
 

  • Sexennial reappraisal – Ohio law requires a full reappraisal of the value of each parcel in the county once every six years.
  • Triennial update – on the third year of the six-year cycle referenced above, Ohio law requires your Auditor’s Office to perform a countywide update of appraised property values based on real estate market trends.
  • Construction – your value may be adjusted due to started or completed construction on your property as determined by permits issued to you by your locality.
  • Correcting inaccurate property data – Your Auditor’s Office continuously reviews property data for accuracy and your assessed value may be impacted by the updating of inaccurate or out-of-date data associated with your property. (E.g., incorrect square footage, bathroom count, bedroom count, etc.) If you suspect that your property’s data is inaccurate, please notify us by calling 614-525-HOME (4663) or contact Michael.
  • Board of Revision (BOR) decision – a BOR decision may result in a change in your property’s appraised value.
  • Damaged or destroyed property – damage to or destruction of your property will likely result in a change in value. If your property has been damaged or destroyed, please notify our office by submitting an Application for Valuation Deduction for Destroyed or Damaged Real Property (DTE 26).
How can I arrange for a speaker to discuss the functions of the Franklin County Auditor’s Office with my group or organization?

Your Franklin County Auditor's Office is pleased to provide speakers and presentations on a variety of topics, including the Homestead Exemption program, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), the real estate taxation process, and any other aspect of the office. Additionally, the office participates in and provides information and community resources at events throughout Franklin County through the mobile office.
 
Please call 614-525-HOME (4663), contact Michael, or contact us electronically for information about scheduling a presentation or participating in an upcoming community event.

How do I get a dog license?

There are several ways to obtain a dog license.
 
Dog licenses can be obtained online, in person at the Franklin County Dog Shelter (4340 Tamarack Blvd, Columbus, OH 43229), or at various mobile office pop-up events throughout the county.
 
In addition, you may call your Franklin County Auditor's Office Consumer Services Division directly at 614-525-3260 to request that an application be mailed to you.
 
If you have any questions about the dog licensing process or the various fees associated with licensing your dog, please call 614-525-3260 or contact Michael. Licensing fees may be prorated if the license is issued after the statutory deadlines of any given year.

How can I determine how much a proposed property tax levy will cost me?

Your Franklin County Auditor’s website provides a levy estimator tool that estimates the annual cost of proposed property tax levies on any property’s tax bill. Please note that this tool only estimates the potential impact of property tax levies and does not account for any income tax levies on your ballot.

When is a vendor's license required and how do I get one?

A vendor's license is required by state law whenever a business makes retail sales. Having a vendor's license enables the business owner to collect sales tax for the State of Ohio.
 
The initial license is issued by the county auditor's office in the county where the business is located. Because there are different types of vendor's licenses, we recommend contacting your Franklin County Auditor's Office Consumer Services Division directly at 614-525-3260 or contact Michael to determine which license type you might need.
 
You may also visit the Ohio Department of Taxation’s website to learn more about vendor’s licenses and Ohio’s sales tax.

What should I do if I suspect a gasoline pump, price scanner or retail scale is incorrect?

If you suspect a problem with a measuring, weighing, or scanning device in Franklin County, please report the potential issue to your Franklin County Auditor's Office by calling 614-525-7380 or completing the online complaint form.
 
When making a report, please provide the following information:

  • name and location of the establishment;
  • nature of the complaint;
  • date the suspected error was discovered;
  • your name and telephone number, and
  •  any receipts or other details you may have from the transaction.

 

When are Real Estate Taxes due?

Your Franklin County Auditor’s Office does not levy or collect any taxes.
 
The Franklin County Treasurer’s Office is responsible for issuing property tax bills and collecting tax payments.
 
Generally, property taxes are due on a semi-annual basis in January and June. For information about your property tax bill or to pay the taxes owed, please contact the Franklin County Treasurer’s Office directly at 614-525-3438 or Treasurer@franklincountyohio.gov. You may also visit the Treasurer’s website here.

I am opening a business and need to know what, if any, weights and measures regulations will affect me?

Most businesses are to some degree affected by Ohio’s weights and measures law. Although the applicability of these regulations may vary, a business using any kind of weighing or measuring device (e.g., scale, gas pump, meter, UPC scanner system, timing device, etc.) is likely to be directly affected. Additionally, if your business is involved in packaging commodities, you will need to adhere to packaging, labeling and net quantity requirements.
 
If you have any questions about how your business might be impacted by Ohio’s weights and measures law, please call 614-525-7380 or contact Michael.

What is “Rental Registration” and why did I get a mailing asking me to complete a form?

Ohio Revised Code requires owners of residential rental property to register their property with the county auditor in the county where the property is located. The information required to be filed includes:

  • In the case of an individual owner: the name, address, and phone number of the owner.
  • In the case of multiple individual owners: the name, address and phone number of the owner who is filing as the contact person.
  • In the case of an owner other than an individual or individuals: the name, address and phone number of the individual who is filing as the contact person.
  • In all cases, the street address and parcel number of the residential rental property.

 
NOTE: An owner of residential rental property who resides outside of the State of Ohio must designate an individual who resides in the state to serve as the contact person. Alternatively, an out-of-state business entity owner with an in-state statutory agent may file with the county auditor a certified copy of the designated agent on file with the Ohio Secretary of State.
 
Rental registration information must be filed within 60 days of a property transfer and failure to comply can result in a fine of $150.
 
You may register a rental property through your Franklin County Auditor’s online rental registration management system or by completing the Franklin County Auditor’s rental registration form and mailing it to Franklin County Auditor, Rental Registration, 373 S High St, 21st Floor, Columbus, OH 43215 or emailing it to RentalRegistration@franklincountyohio.gov.
 
For additional information about the rental registration process, please visit the rental registration webpage here.

How can I update the tax bill mailing address on my property?

The Franklin County Treasurer’s Office is responsible for issuing property tax bills and collecting property tax payments. You may submit a request to update your tax bill mailing address directly to the Treasurer’s Office at 614-525-3438 or Treasurer@franklincountyohio.gov or by completing the Treasurer’s online tax bill mailing address change request form here.
 

What is the Homestead Exemption and how can I apply for it?

The standard Homestead Exemption is a property tax credit designed for lower income older adults and those who are permanently and totally disabled.
 
To qualify, an individual must be age 65 or older as of December 31 of the year for which they apply or be totally and permanently disabled as of January 1 of the year for which they apply. The individual must also reside in their home as their primary residence as of January 1 of the year for which they apply and earn below a specified income limit. The maximum allowable income changes each year based on inflation and approved applicants will receive a property tax reduction equal to the taxes owed toward $25,000 of their property’s appraised value.
 
You may apply for the standard Homestead Exemption by submitting an online application or completing the Homestead Exemption Application for Senior Citizens, Disabled Persons and Surviving Spouses (DTE 105A) and mailing it to Franklin County Auditor, Homestead, 373 S High St, 21st Floor, Columbus, OH 43215 or emailing it to homestead@franklincountyohio.gov.
 
An enhanced Homestead Exemption is also available for military veterans who are 100% disabled by or are receiving 100% compensation for service-connected injuries as well as surviving spouses of public service officers killed in the line of duty. There are no income requirements with the enhanced Homestead Exemption and approved applicants will receive a property tax reduction equal to the taxes owed toward $50,000 of their property’s appraised value.
 
You may apply for the enhanced Homestead Exemption for disabled veterans by completing the Homestead Exemption Application for Disabled Veterans and Surviving Spouses (DTE 105I) and mailing to Franklin County Auditor, Homestead, 373 S High St, 21st Floor, Columbus, OH 43215 or emailing it to homestead@franklincountyohio.gov. Alternatively, you may apply for the enhanced Homestead Exemption for the surviving spouses of public service officers killed in the line of duty by completing the Homestead Exemption Application for Surviving Spouses of Public Service Officers Killed in the Line of Duty (DTE 105K) and submitting it via mail or email at the addresses referenced above.
 
For more information about the Homestead program and to access the various forms associated with it, please visit our Homestead webpage here.

What entities receive my tax dollars and how do I obtain a copy of the tax budget for a particular municipality, township or school district in Franklin County?

Your public school district, vocational school district (if applicable), city/village/township, library, and county all receive a portion of the property tax dollars distributed by your Franklin County Auditor's Office. 
 
To receive a copy of the tax budget for a specific municipality or political subdivision, you may call or submit a written request to Kerri Ritchie, Budget Commission Clerk, at 614-525-3743 or klritchi@franklincountyohio.gov. Written requests may also be mailed to the following address:
 
Franklin County Auditor
Budget Commission Clerk
373 S High St, 21st Floor
Columbus, OH 43215
 
When making such a request, please specify the agency and tax year for which you are requesting the tax budget.
 
 

How does the Auditor’s office protect my property from “title theft”?

Your Franklin County Auditor’s office takes the safety and security of the residents and businesses of Franklin County very seriously and is committed to mitigating and remedying any instances of fraudulent activity.

With regard to transfers of property ownership, the office requires that all deeds and other relevant documents be notarized by a notary public registered with the Office of the Ohio Secretary of State. This notarization process is designed to safeguard against the activities of fraudulent actors and reduce the frequency of inaccurate information appearing on documents such as property deeds.

The office also maintains the county’s most comprehensive source of real estate data, including property ownership information, which can be used to verify the owner(s) of any property by performing a search for it through the office’s online Property Search tool: https://property.franklincountyauditor.com/

If you suspect that the ownership of your property may have been impacted by fraudulent activity, please report the issue to the Auditor’s office by calling (614) 525-HOME (4663) or emailing AuditorStinziano@franklincountyohio.gov. The office will use this information to investigate your property record and, if appropriate, coordinate with the proper authorities to remedy any instance of fraudulent activity.