The County Auditor is the Chief Financial Officer of the County. It is the Auditor's responsibility to account for the millions of dollars received by the County and to issue checks in payment of all County obligations, including the distribution of tax dollars to Washington County itself and to its 22 townships, 5 villages, 2 cities, 7 school districts and 1 fire district. The Auditor also distributes motor vehicle license fees, gasoline taxes, estate taxes and local government funds in addition to real estate and personal property taxes. As Chief Fiscal Officer, the Auditor is also required by law to prepare the County's annual financial report.
The County Auditor acts as an agent for the Tax Commissioner of Ohio. The monies collected from decendent estates are distributed by law:
It is the duty of the Auditor to see that every parcel of land and the buildings thereon are fairly and uniformly appraised and assessed for tax purposes. The office maintains a detailed record of the appraisal on each parcel in the county. These records are open for public inspection. Assessment is 35% of fair market value.
Tax rates are determined by the budgetary requests of each governmental unit, as authorized by the vote of the people. Your tax bill is based on the tax rate multiplied by your valuation on this tax list. This is your proportional share of the cost of operating your local government, including schools, townships, villages and the county.
Ohio law limits the amount of taxation without a vote of the people to what is known as the "10 mill limitation" ($10 per $1,000 of assessed valuation.) Additional real estate taxes must be voted by county residents.
As part of a Real Estate transfer, the Auditor's office provides verification that the legal description of the property matches the tax duplicate. NOTE: All deeds must include parcel numbers.
The County Auditor is also responsible for collection of the conveyance fee of $.40 per $100.00. All Real Estate transfer transactions must be accompanied by either the conveyance fee or an exemption form.
A transfer fee of $0.50 per parcel is also collected by the Auditor's office.
The Auditor's office is the primary point in the County for the issuance of licenses for dogs, kennels, vendors, cigarettes and junkyards.
Dog licenses comprise the largest number of licenses sold. The annual dog registration is a service designed to benefit the animal, its owner and the community.
Vendor's licenses authorize businesses to sell tangible property to the public, collecting sales tax of which part is returned for use at the local level.