FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Frequently Asked Questions


Below are the answers to the most common questions asked about the work of the FCAO. For additional information about a specific division of the office please see the pages of the individual divisions of the office. If you have remaining questions please do not hesitate to contact the office directly at 614-525-HOME or AuditorStinziano@franklincountyohio.gov.
 
 
  1. You changed the value of my property – why?

    Under Ohio Revised Code, the County Auditor is required to determine the taxable value of real property. As part of this duty, you will see regular changes to your property value. There are several reasons why our office might have updated your property value. This includes:
    • Scheduled Revaluation – this is also called the sexennial value review and occurs every 6 years
    • Update Schedule – this is also called the triennial value review and is performed once half-way through the revaluation schedule
    • Construction -You have started or completed construction on your property as determined by permits you have been issued
    • Incorrect data affecting value - in the course of business we discover incorrect data, or the owner or a realtor brings incorrect data to our attention. Examples of this may include incorrect square footage or number of bathrooms
    • Board of Revision decision
    • Special Requests:  Special requests by owner or BOR to verify data or check for condition, etc.
    • Damaged/Destroyed Property:  A damaged/destroyed property form prompts our office to visit the property to assess condition issues generally due to inclement weather damage or fire, etc.
    • Internal Consistency Review:  The office may note inconsistencies of value within a specific area during the normal course of business which will prompt a value review of all properties in that area

     

  2. I think your valuation of my property is incorrect. What can I do?

    The appraised value set by the Auditor's Office is an important part of the property tax calculation. If you feel the appraised value is too high, you may file a complaint with the Franklin County Board of Revision. Filing a BOR complaint entitles you to a hearing before the three-member Board of Revision. At the hearing, you may present information such as recent appraisals or current sales data for similar properties in your neighborhood to support your complaint. There are several ways to file a complaint: you can file your complaint by U.S. Mail or in person at: 373 S. High St., 20th Floor, Columbus, OH 43215; you can scan your signed and notarized complaint and email it to: bor@franklincountyohio.gov; or fax it to: 614-525-6252. You can obtain blank complaint forms (form DTE 1) through our Form Center.
    Complaints can be filed between November 30 and March 31. Complaints must be received by our office on or before March 31. If a complaint is filed by mail or certified mail, and has a United States postmark (on the envelope or sender's receipt) of March 31, it will be considered filed on March 31. For additional information on the BOR process please click here.

     

  3. What is mediation?

    Mediation is a method by which tax payers can settle Board of Revision cases without a full hearing. This process involves the tax payer, an independent mediator and a representative from FCAO.  During the process, the mediator assists with communication and negotiation between the tax payer and the representative to help them in reaching a voluntary agreement regarding their dispute. The Board of Revision must approve any agreement which is reached in mediation. For additional information on the mediation process, including whether you can qualify, please visit here.

     

  4. How do I get a dog license?

    There are several ways to obtain a dog license. First, you may call the Franklin County Auditor's Consumer Services Division directly at 614-525-3260 and an application will be mailed to you. Dog licenses can also be obtained at Franklin County Animal Control, the Capital Area Humane Society and other satellite locations throughout the county, or can be accessed online. Calling can help eliminate confusion about different costs in licensing for animals that have been spayed or neutered and those that have not. Licensing fees may be prorated if they are issued after July 1 for their given year. For more information on dog licensing FAQs, please click here.

     

  5. 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 in which the business is located. Because there are a number of different vendor's licenses, it is best to contact the Franklin County Auditor's Office Consumer Services Division directly at 614-525-3260 to determine which type of license you will need. You may also visit the State of Ohio Department of Taxation website.

     

  6. 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, contact the Franklin County Auditor's Office at 614-525-3742 or by filling out the online complaint form. 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.

     

  7. 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 weights and measures laws. This will vary on the type of business, but in general, if you will be using any type of weighing and measuring device (e.g. scale, gas pump, meter, UPC scanner system, timing device), you will be directly affected. If you will be packaging commodities, you will need to know packaging, labeling and net quantity requirements.

     

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

    Please visit the Franklin County Treasurer’s website.

     

  9. 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 tax dollars distributed by the 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 the Budget Commission Clerk. Please specify which agency and tax year you are requesting. The telephone number is 614-525-3743; written requests may be mailed to: Franklin County Auditor, Budget Commission Clerk, 21st Floor, 373 S. High St., Columbus, Ohio 43215 or emailed to klritchi@franklincountyohio.gov.

     

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

    The Homestead Exemption is a program to reduce property tax for lower income older adults and those who are permanently and totally disabled, regardless of income. To qualify, an individual must be 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. For older adults, the maximum income changes each year based on inflation. For information on current income requirements or to access the application please visit here.

     

  11. What is Rental Registration?

    Ohio Revised Code requires owners of residential rental property to file with the county auditor in the county where the property is located. Among the information required to be filed is contact information for the owner, business or trust. This information must be filed within 60 days of property transfer and failure to comply can result in a fine of $150. For additional information on the rental registration process, including the required form, please visit here.

     

  12. When are Real Estate Taxes due?

    The FCAO does not levy or collect any taxes. Taxes are collected by the Franklin County Treasurer’s Office (FCT). Generally property taxes are due in January and May.
    For additional information on your tax bill or to pay your taxes please contact the Franklin County Treasurer’s office directly.  You can visit their website or call 614-525-3438. If you wish to mail a check, make your check payable to: Cheryl Brooks Sullivan, Franklin County Treasurer and mail your payments to:
    Cheryl Brooks Sullivan
    Franklin County Treasurer
    373 S High St, 17th Floor
    Columbus, Ohio 43215-6306

     

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

    Our website provides a levy estimator feature. By typing in your address it can provide an estimate on the annual cost of proposed property tax levies. Please note, this estimator is good for property tax levies only – not income tax issues that may also appear on your ballot.

     

  14. How can I arrange for a speaker to discuss the functions of the Franklin County Auditor's Office with my group or organization?

    The Franklin County Auditor's Office is pleased to provide speakers and presentations on a variety of topics, including the Homestead Exemption program (see Question 10 for additional information), Geographic Information Systems (GIS), real estate taxation process (see Question 12 for additional information) or any other aspect of the Auditor's Office. Call 614-525-4663 for information about scheduling a presentation or contact us electronically.