Press Releases: **New Releases**
Reports of Vandalism
Athens, OH, September 9, 2022: It was recently discovered that “gas pump stickers” have been removed from gas pumps at several gas stations in Athens County. The stickers are notices that certify the gas pump has been inspected by the County Auditor’s staff and the pump meter and charges are accurate.
“One of the many duties of the county auditor is to be sure gas pumps, weight scales, and even advertisements of prices, are accurate,” says Athens County Auditor Jill Thompson. “Consumer protection is very important to me, and we spend a lot of time testing gas pumps and ‘locking’ them with seals so nobody can be cheated. When we put our sticker on that pump, it means we certify it is accurate.”
Prepackaged products, like a box of cereal, are checked on a national basis. Locally measured products, like gasoline, have those “devices” tested by the County Auditor. Athens County retail stores have over 1,000 devices that are tested at least once every year, the most common one being a gas pump.
Auditor Thompson discovered one gas station this past Sunday that had all of the stickers removed. Since, several other stations were found to have all of the gas pump stickers removed. Currently, Auditor Thompson is reviewing the incidents for referral to law enforcement. “Besides being vandalism and destruction of government property, there are special civil and criminal penalties for removing these stickers. Why anyone would do this is beyond reason.”
Auditor Thompson is asking for anyone that finds a pump missing a certification sticker to let her office know. “If anyone has information on the vandalism, a complaint about a gas pump, or discovers a pump without a sticker, please let us know. We will go out and take a look.” To report a problem to Auditor Thompson’s Weights & Measures inspector, please call 740-592-3223.
Athens County Board of Revision to Meet
Athens, OH, July 29, 2022: The Athens County Board of Revision is scheduled to meet in person on Tuesday, August 2, 2022 beginning at 2:00 p.m. in the County Auditor’s Conference Room, First Floor, Courthouse Annex.
Athens County Budget Commission to Meet
Athens, OH, July 26, 2022: The Athens County Budget Commission will meet on Monday, August 1, 2022 beginning at 11:00 a.m. in the County Auditor’s Conference Room, First Floor, Courthouse Annex.
The Budget Commission is required to meet on the First Monday in August as stated in Ohio Revised Code Section 5705.27.
Athens County Budget Meeting Rescheduled
Athens, OH, July 1, 2022: The regularly scheduled Athens County Budget Commission meeting of Tuesday, July 5, 2022 has been rescheduled to 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, July 6, 2022.
Athens County Joins OhioCheckbook.Gov
Columbus, OH, June 29, 2022: Ohio Treasurer Robert Sprague today announced that Athens County has joined OhioCheckbook.gov.
“The Ohio Checkbook is a powerful tool to increase government transparency and keep taxpayers informed about decisions being made at the state and local levels.” said Sprague. “We’re proud to have Athens County as a partner in our continued efforts to make government spending data more readily available.”
Athens County is the 47th county to join OhioCheckbook.gov. The county's online checkbook includes more than 111,000 individual transactions representing over $697 million in spending from January 2019 through December 2021.
“Transparency is a priority for Athens County, and the Ohio Checkbook is a valuable resource for residents to gain insight on how their tax dollars are spent,” said Athens County Auditor Jill Thompson. “We’re proud to join the platform and partner with the Ohio Treasurer’s office to increase government accountability.”
OhioCheckbook.gov was launched in June 2020. The transparency website combined OhioCheckbook.com (previously administered by the Treasurer’s office) and Ohio’s Interactive Budget (previously operated by the Office of Budget and Management) to create a single, one-stop resource for taxpayers to learn more about spending at the state and local government levels.
By streamlining website administration, eliminating duplication, and reducing overall operating costs, OhioCheckbook.gov will keep government transparency at taxpayers’ fingertips for years to come.
You can learn more about Athens County by visiting their page on the Ohio Checkbook. To access another local government website, visit the Local Government & Schools page on OhioCheckbook.gov.
Auditor Thompson Announces Passage of the Auditor Emergency Assessment Act
Athens, OH, June 3, 2022: Athens County Auditor Jill Thompson is pleased the Ohio Senate passed House Bill 51, the Auditor Emergency Assessment Act, which took effect May 19, 2022.
According to Auditor Thompson, this legislation will make it easier for owners of damaged or destroyed real estate to benefit from Ohio’s Damaged Property Deduction program. “This legislation will eliminate unnecessary red tape and will streamline access to tax relief for property owners after a crisis, allowing county auditors to complete the application process for the property owner.
If we see a property destroyed by fire or natural disaster, the Auditor's office can now file an adjustment to the tax bill without having to wait on the property owners, who in the midst of the crisis, may not know the process regarding the damaged property.”
Before the passage of HB 51, Ohio legislation required owners of damaged or destroyed real estate to complete, notarize and return application forms in order to receive a property value reduction.
“Property owners should not have to pay the full tax bill on a property that has been damaged or destroyed by a fire or natural disaster,” said Auditor Thompson. “Thanks to H.B. 51, we can ensure the owners of damaged property receive timely tax relief.
Athens County Board of Revision to Meet
Athens, OH, April 22, 2022: The Athens County Board of Revision is scheduled to meet in person on Friday, May 6, 2022 beginning at 9:00 a.m. in the County Auditor’s Conference Room, First Floor, Courthouse Annex.
County Auditor Talks Tax Levy Adjustment
Athens, OH, April 12, 2022: Athens County Auditor Jill Thompson has prepared a worksheet for property owners to help them better understand the impact ballot issues may have on their property tax bill.
The spreadsheet breaks down each tax levy ballot issue and clearly provides the estimated cost for a home valued at $100,000. If the issue will result in a tax increase, the estimated increase is calculated.
The worksheet is specific to the tax levies that are on the May 3, 2022 Primary ballot for voter consideration. The worksheet includes Estimated Annual Revenue to the Political Subdivision and Estimated Annual cost per $100,000 home value. This information will allow property owners to see what the proposed levies will cost before voting.
The proposed Athens City Income tax levy does not have an effect on property tax amounts. It is included on the worksheet for informational purposes only.
Legislative Change for Exempt Property Owners
Notification Requirement for Property Owners of Exempt Property
Athens, OH— February 16, 2022: Athens County Auditor Jill Thompson explains that Ohio will now require owners of exempt real property to notify the county auditor if the property “ceases to qualify for exemption.” The Ohio Tax Commissioner recently prescribed a form (DTE 23N) pursuant to the requirements of Revised Code 5713.083 as enacted by House Bill. 110, 134th General Assembly and distributed a notice to all county auditors.
The provisions of the legislative change became effective on September 9, 2021 and will apply to property owners for tax year 2022 and every year thereafter.
The owners of property appearing on the exempt list are required to notify the county auditor, by the prescribed form, if the property ceases to qualify for exemption. Upon receipt of the notification, the county auditor shall return the property to the tax list.
County Auditor Jill Thompson is pleased with the legislative change and will be sending a notification to every owner of exempt property to make sure they are aware of the notification requirement. “Our office currently maintains an exempt list that includes 4,282 exempt parcels with a total valuation of over $477,915,530 of assessed (taxable) value,” said Auditor Thompson, “While a significant portion of that exempt is state or federally owned, there is still a significant portion that is not. It is important for our office to be notified when a parcel no longer qualifies.”
The legislation specifies that if the county auditor discovers that an owner failed to properly notify the auditor, as required under the revised code, the auditor shall impose a charge against the property described in that division equal to the total amount by which taxes were reduced for any of the five preceding tax years that the auditor ascertains the property was not entitled to the exemption and was owned by the current owner.
“Up to this point, Ohio law has not imposed a penalty or notification requirement. If a use changes and a property no longer qualifies, we are not notified and are left to discover the change. This change should return those properties that no longer qualify to the tax list in a timelier manner.” Said Auditor Thompson.
Athens County Auditor Receives Award
Athens, OH, June 15, 2021: The Athens County Auditor's Office recevied an award of Outstanding Achievement in Popular Annual Financial Reporting (PAFR) for fiscal year 2019.
Tax Relief Available for Damage resulting from Wind and Storms
Ohio law provides for a reduction of taxable value for property owners when damage has occurred.
In the wake of the recent storms and wind, Auditor Jill Thompson alerts property owners of real estate and manufactured homes that they may claim a reduction in the taxable value of their property for any damage that has occurred.
- Property owners must file an application with the county auditor timely
- The amount of the reduction is prorated based on the calendar quarter in which the damage occurred
- Even when the damage is repaired promptly, property owners should take pictures of the damage and file them with the notarized application
Auditor Thompson noted, "With the wind damage and storms that occurred recently, property owners deserve the relief that this law provides. My staff will be available to assist applicants in completing the form properly so they can get the reduction they are entitled to."
Applications can be downloaded from Auditor Thompson's website atwww.athenscountyauditor.org or can be mailed by calling 740-592-3223.
- Form DTE 26 – Application for Valuation Deduction for Destroyed or Damaged Real Property
- Form DTE 49 – Application for Tax Refund or Waiver for Destroyed or Damaged Manufactured Homes