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ASK THE AUDITOR

Do you have a question about your Franklin County Auditor’s Office? Are you curious about why the office licenses dogs, but not cats? Or would you like to learn more about the security of your home’s title and ways to protect you and your family from fraudulent activity?
 
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you’re in the right place – “Ask the Auditor” is where your questions about dog licensing, weights and measures, property values, and so much more get answered. Check out the posts below to learn about how the Auditor’s Office works for you!

 Do you have a question for Auditor Stinziano? Click the link below to ask it.
Ask the auditor

Why doesn’t the Auditor license cats?
Under Ohio law, Auditor offices are responsible for licensing the county’s dogs, and due to that statutory responsibility, we are frequently asked: why don’t you license cats? The main reason we don’t license cats, turtles, parrots, iguanas or any other animal is simple: Ohio law does not require other animals to be licensed by County Auditors.
Ohio Revised Code 955.01 provides only for the licensing of dogs. The current law dates back to the 1950s and has been updated over the years, including in 2014, 2015, 2018 and 2021. If the Ohio General Assembly wanted to pass a bill and require our office to license any other animals, then it would be our responsibility to do it.
Dog licensing originated around the turn of the 20th century as a way to protect farmers’ livestock from stray dogs and compensate them for any livestock losses. Ever since, Ohio and most other states only require the licensing of dogs.
Licensing cats was proposed decades ago in the Ohio legislature but it has never had the necessary support and failed. The domestic cat’s larger cousins are a different story. In 2012 a law was passed regulating and outright banning the possession of exotic animals (lions, tigers, cheetahs, komodo dragons, alligators, elephants, etc.)
Licensing cats (and other animals) would certainly be a different dynamic than the dog licensing process. Some towns in other states have experimented with licensing cats and have found that the programs are costly to maintain and public support is miniscule. Judging from the many internet forums devoted to the topic, there are passionate people who believe cats should be licensed, and many who feel they shouldn’t be. For any changes, the General Assembly would have to pass legislation to require licensing cats or other animals. Until then, the Auditor’s office will continue to happily license dogs to keep them healthy and safe.
The more you know!
You can adopt a dog at the Franklin County Dog Shelter: https://dogs.franklincountyohio.gov/
And you can get your dog licensed right here: https://doglicense.franklincountyohio.gov/

What does the Auditor have to do with “weights and measures”?
Many people know that the Franklin County Auditor’s office inspects gas pumps to make sure you’re getting what you pay for and to prevent fraud from credit card skimmers. But did you know the office is in charge of all weights and measures in the county? (Outside of the City of Columbus, which has its own Weights and Measures Section.) Ohio Revised Code 319.55 defines the county auditor as the “county sealer of weights and measures” and specifies that the auditor is responsible for enforcing state weights and measures laws throughout the county.  
 
From the scales that measure pumpkin weigh-ins in the fall to the scales used to weigh produce at farmers’ markets, Auditor’s office Weights and Measures staff are out in the community inspecting it all to ensure accuracy for Franklin County consumers and businesses. The largest scale the office inspects is a rail scale, used for measuring railroad cars, which can measure up to 400,000 lbs. On the smaller side, the office’s inspectors check jewelry scales, which measure minute amounts of precious metals and gemstones down to the fraction of an ounce or gram.
 
In 2020, the Auditor’s office conducted more than a thousand inspections and tested 12,676 devices like gas pumps and point of sale scanners. Of the tests, 1,656 were on scale devices, 8,403 on liquid measuring devices, and 261 on non-commercial devices. Any device that tested incorrect was re-tested and corrected. 
 
Inspectors also responded to 23 complaints in 2020, including 11 about motor fuel, one about a scale and one about a price error. All of the complaints were resolved, and the devices were corrected.
 
Your Auditor’s office is an important resource in protecting Franklin County consumers and businesses by ensuring the accuracy of scales and scanners. For more information on the office’s Weights and Measures work, visit www.franklincountyauditor.com/consumer/weights-and-measures.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I am receiving a number of unwanted phone calls and text messages from people inquiring about my property. Does the Auditor’s office have anything to do with that?
We all know that nobody enjoys receiving unwanted phone calls. Lately, the Auditor’s office has increasingly heard from constituents who express frustration and concern about the high volume of phone calls, text messages, and mail they are receiving from solicitors asking to purchase their property.
 
What’s more, many property owners who receive such unwanted solicitation often share their belief that their phone number is publicly connected to their property record through the Auditor’s website. In fact, this misconception is frequently reinforced by solicitors who falsely claim to have obtained a property owner’s phone number from the Auditor’s website.
 
First and foremost, the Auditor’s office does not provide the phone number of any property owner unless it is associated with a registered residential rental property. This means that a homeowner who has not registered their home as a rental property will never have their phone number connected to their property record on the Auditor’s website.
 
If you are concerned about your phone number appearing on the Auditor’s website, you are welcome to directly review your property record by performing a search for your property through the office’s online property search tool here: property.franklincountyauditor.com. You may also directly contact the office at (614) 525-HOME (4663) or AuditorStinziano@franklincountyohio.gov to verify whether a phone number is associated with your property record.
 
Secondly, it’s important to know the value of your home and to avoid engaging in real estate transactions with suspicious actors. Some nuisance callers may attempt to pressure a property owner to sell their property for a price substantially lower than its value. If you are unsure of your property’s value, you may view the Auditor’s appraised value of it by performing a search for your property through the Auditor’s property search tool referenced above.  
 
To protect yourself from potentially fraudulent actors, the office recommends never accepting a cash offer for your home and, if you are interested in selling, consulting with one or more realtors or real estate professionals to do so.
 
If you encounter a potential instance of fraudulent activity, please report it to the Auditor’s Consumer Fraud Hotline at (614) 525-SCAM.