The year 2011 will be a busy one for the Franklin County Auditor’s office.
It’s an appraisal year and “we’ll assess every piece of property,” county Auditor Clarence E. Mingo, II, told the Westland Area Commission at its Oct. 21 meeting.
“It will determine if the property value stays the same, goes up or goes down,” he said.
Every time there is a reappraisal, property owners become concerned about their taxes. If the property owner thinks the tax rate is not appropriate, they can file an appeal with the Board of Revision.
And often the board finds in favor of the property owner, Mingo said.
“Fifty-one percent of the people who questioned their rates had their taxes adjusted downward,” he said.
Even though it sounds like a victory for the taxpayers, there is a downside.
“The down side is that lowering the property taxes has an impact on the services that can be provided,” he said.
In his presentation, Mingo told of the services that residents can obtain by searching the auditor’s Web site at www.franklincountyauditor.com.
He said property owners can put in their address and can find out to the penny what a tax levy will cost. He also said the ballot language for each of the levies that will be on the November ballot can be found on his Web site.
“That way you can enter the voting booth and make an informed decision as to how much it costs you,” he said.
Information available when entering the property address includes what school district the property is in.
“The schools use it a lot,” said Janice Collette, who represents the South-Western City Schools on the commission. “It’s helped us in boundary disputes.”
Another feature is the rental property registration process.
He explained that all rental properties are to be registered “and failure can result in a fifty-dollar fine.”
“My office collected one million dollars in fines last year,” he said.
Forty-four thousand rental properties are registered through his Web site, which he says can aid law enforcement, civic associations and the community.
“If the properties are not being well maintained, you can go to the Web site and see who the owner is,” he said.