County Auditor has not returned unused funds in 14 years! County Auditor keeps unused funds instead of returning to the tax payers.

In our campaign review of the Ohio County Auditor’s Real Estate Assessment (REA) Funds, we discovered that the Montgomery County current auditor, in his 14 years in office, has had no record of returning unused REA Funds to the local government or schools. A brief explanation of the Ohio REA Funds, by Hamilton County Auditor, Dusty Rhodes – Democrat, and a summary of other county auditors’ recent returns to the taxing entities are attached to this press release and available on our campaign website.

Our campaign wonders what the current auditor has done with the excess of this REA Funds over the years. Instead of returning the excess REA Funds back to the local government or schools like other county auditors have done recently, the current auditor would instead ask the local governments and schools to put measures on the ballot for more money.

“It is time to elect a new Montgomery County Auditor. If a county like Lorain can return $1.8 million to its community and schools in 2014, why can’t Montgomery County auditor return some money” said Bossey.

Hamilton County Auditor Explains

Regarding the return or Real Estate Assessment funds to Local Governments and Schools Dusty Rhodes offered this information to the residents of Hamilton County.

From Where does the money come?

State law provides a very small percentage of every real estate levy be set aside to pay for the property appraisal and associated real estate work of the County Auditor’s office. These funds go to the Real Estate Assessment (REA) Fund.

Why couldn’t this money be used to reduce the County’s projected debt/deficit?

These funds can only be spent on the appraisals and related real estate work in the County Auditor’s office with the approval of the State Tax Commissioner. They can be spent for no other purpose until such time as they are declared surplus by the County Auditor. Then the County’s General Fund receives its share as do other taxing entities.

Montgomery County Assessment Costs

Montgomery County contracts out its reappraisal process to a private contractor at a cost that exceeds $4 million. No public records exist that demonstrate any money has ever been returned to local jurisdictions in Montgomery County.

The Numbers

Here are the numbers from the counties surrounding Montgomery County.

rea chart

Here are the numbers by county. Click on the document below for a complete list of the sources used to compile this report.

The Sources

Here are the sources used to compile the report above. Click on the image to see it full sized.

Here are the sources used to compile the report above. Click on the image to see it full sized.

 

For the full letter from Hamilton County Auditor Dusty Rhodes and the full press release see the attachments below.

Full Press Release from the Campaign

REA-PG1 REA-PG2