County to return more than $5M in excess assessments to tax districts

Montgomery County Auditor Karl Keith announces Wednesday that the county is providing assessment refunds to tax districts. STAFF
Montgomery County Auditor Karl Keith announces Wednesday that the county is providing assessment refunds to tax districts. STAFF

Credit: STAFF

Credit: STAFF

Montgomery County is turning back to tax districts more than $5 million in excess real estate assessment fees collected over six years to pay for the 2020 countywide property reappraisal.

The first-of-its-kind refunds will go back to 55 tax authorities which include cities, villages, townships, park and library districts and others, Montgomery County Auditor Karl Keith announced Wednesday.

“Hopefully this will be be a nice surprise for the for the entities and they’ll be able to use these funds to help deal with some of the burdens they’re facing currently,” Keith said.

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Keith said the excess came as a result of a $1 million decrease in the county’s reappraisal contract as well as increased efficiencies as a result of virtual meetings during the pandemic and new imaging technologies used for mapping.

Following previous reappraisal years the office was left with a “cushion,” but “this is the first time we really felt like that we had a surplus that was extensive enough to do a refund,” he said.

The top four refunds are going to the Human Services Levy and the public school districts in Centerville, Dayton and Kettering.

The county’s Human Services Levy is receiving the highest refund: $718,771. The county relies on the levy to fund safety-net programs for children in crisis, the developmentally disabled, the frail elderly and indigent — as well as those whose lives are upended by alcohol and drug use.

The refund comes as “a most appreciated surprise,” said Tom Kelley, who oversees Human Services Levy funding as assistant Montgomery County administrator for Human Services.

Kelley said the refund from the Auditor’s Office will further support the levy’s $823,000 already allocated to help nonprofits respond to urgent community needs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Thanks to the support of Montgomery County citizens and the flexibility of our Human Services Levy, we were able to support — through local programs — those who needed help the most,” Kelley said.

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Three school districts — Centerville, Dayton and Kettering — will get a little more than 30% of the total amount refunded. Altogether, school districts in the county will see nearly $3 million in refunds.

Tom Henderson, superintendent of Centerville City Schools, said he was “definitely surprised” by the refund.

“Public school districts work hard to be fiscally responsible, and any boost in revenue certainly helps us maintain the high quality of education our students deserve and our community expects,” Henderson said. “Our team will discuss the best way to use these unexpected funds as we move forward.”

From 2015 through 2020, the tax authorities paid $31.8 million into the real estate assessment fund. The pro rata assessments pay for the every-six-year reappraisal as well as the Auditor Office’s mapping and geographic information system, assessment and deed transfer departments and the Board of Revision.

While the pandemic created some uncertainties, it also opened other avenues for cost savings for the Auditor’s Office. Meetings moved online, helping the office avoid renting out space to hold informal property reviews, Keith said.

“One positive thing we can say about the 2020 reappraisal is that we have been able to do this in a very cost effective, cost efficient manner,” he said.

The tax districts should see the money show up in accounts by electronic transfer within a week, Keith said.

Montgomery County to refund excess assessments to tax districts
More than $5 million in excess real estate assessments is being returned to schools and other tax authorities with levies on the books. The fees were collected over a six-year period to pay for the 2020 countywide property reappraisal.
Tax authorityAmount
Centerville CSD$549,203
Dayton CSD$495,654
Kettering CSD$487,555
Miamisburg CSD$228,242
Northmont CSD$199,620
Huber Heights CSD $195,688
Vandalia-Butler CSD $155,689
Oakwood CSD$138,543
West Carrollton CSD$127,726
Miami Valley CTC$87,417
Mad River LSD $66,378
Trotwood-Madison CSD$62,001
Northridge LSD$45,793
Brookville LSD$45,068
Valley View LSD$40,849
New Lebanon LSD$17,595
Jefferson LSD$17,559
Fairborn CSD$7,873
Carlisle LSD$6,912
Beavercreek LSD$6,805
Springboro Community SD$4,238
Tri County North LSD $1,963
Greene County JVSD$1,309
Preble-Shawnee LSD $652
Warren County JVSD$269
Schools total$2,990,602
Countywide levies 
Montgomery County Human Services$718,771
Sinclair Community College$211,623
Five Rivers Metroparks$104,041
Montgomery County General Fund$89,585
Montgomery County ADAMHS$19,933
Countywide levies total$1,143,953
Washington Twp.$158,245
Mami Twp.$120,590
Harrison Twp.$57,204
Butler Twp. $36,766
Jefferson Twp. $14,395
German Twp. $11,220
Clay Twp.$7,651
Jackson Twp.$7,583
Perry Twp. $5,483
Clearcreek Township$840
Townships total$419,976
Cities and villages 
Huber Heights$26,459
West Carrollton$6,346
New Lebanon$6,258
Cities and villages total$347,866
Libraries and parks 
Dayton Metro Library $120,959
Washington Centerville Library $29,148
Washington Township Park District $27,957
Wright Memorial Library $2,409
Germantown Cemetery $490
Joint Ambulance District $50
Libraries and parks total$181,013
Grand total$5,083,410

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