Although it comes at the same time twice a year, your property tax bill likely surprises you. Like countless others in Ohio, that often unplanned-for expense will either wreck your budget or go to the back burner where you will deal with it later. However, later may not come until the next tax bill arrives, further complicating your financial situation.
This time of year, many older Ohioans are living thousands of miles away, fleeing the cold and the snow of winter in Florida, Arizona or other warm-weather destinations. For those with the time and the means, this can be a pleasurable way to spend part of the year, before the spring thaw, at which time they return to Ohio.
Taxes and tax policies are complex. The laws and regulations that implement federal, state and local taxes in Ohio derive from multiple sources and each one of the taxing authorities have their own interests to serve. And because tax codes are statutory and infrequently revised as a whole, their complexity is increased by the fact that various sections of the tax codes have been created at different times by different legislatures.
Statutes and regulations often come with specific definitions, which identity they type of thing regulated and how the item defined may work with other statutes or regulations. These definitions often make less than exciting reading, but are necessary to the functioning of a modern statutory and regulatory scheme.
Property tax valuation can be a contentious issue between taxing authorities and land owners. In some areas, such as tract residential housing, determining comparables and assessing value may be relatively straightforward, as there may exist thousands of identical or nearly identical properties, sometimes within the taxing district.
Agriculture plays an important role in Ohio’s economy. Property taxes, however, can stifle the agriculture industry – especially when paired with crippling market conditions.
With tax law, it is all about definition. There is no, or at least little, logic behind the functioning of much of the tax code. This is because the tax code is not written by the tax equivalent of Plato's philosopher-kings, but by politicians in Columbus.
Taxes are never simple. Even otherwise straightforward taxes, like the Ohio state sales tax can vary, as some municipalities add a local sales tax that increases tax rate.