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Real Estate Property


The County Auditor is mandated by the State to conduct a comprehensive county-wide reappraisal of real estate properties every six years to establish property values for tax purposes, using a uniform approach that produces a fair estimate of what the property would sell for on the open market. There are many things which influence the market value of a property besides comparable sales, such as interest rates, cost of land acquisition, construction and material costs, etc.

On the third year between the six-year reappraisal cycle the state issues to the county auditor percentage updates for property values based upon the current sales amounts in any given area of the county.

Methods of Taxation:

  • After the Market Value is established by the state, or by the reappraisal process, a final Abstract of Values must be submitted to the State for approval. Upon approval, the state issues the new tax rates for the next tax year based upon the new values, levies voted on by the taxpayers, and the 10 mills receivable by the county. If property values increase the state makes adjustments called "reduction factors" which prevent the levies from generating more revenue than was levied for at the time the levy was voted into law.
  • After the final Market Value is established the individual real estate parcels are then taxed on 35% of the market value. This 35% is called the Assessed or Taxable value. This Assessed Value is multiplied by the Tax Rate for your School District, and the "reduction factor" for your taxing district subtracts the excess that would have been generated over and above the allowable millage.
  • Most Residential parcels also qualify for the non-business credit rollback on taxes based on legislation enacted in 1971. This rollback does not apply to Commercial or Industrial properties.
  • Residential parcels where the home is owner-occupied may also qualify for a 2.5% reduction in taxes on their dwelling and up to a one acre home site.
  • The millage generated by the county is for the general fund, Darke County Board of Developmental Disabilities, the Darke County Park District, and Tri-County Mental Health. There are also levies for various Townships, Municipalities, and Schools.

If you have questions please call the Auditor's Office at: 937-547-7309.

Transfer of Ownership:

  • When a real property parcel transfers ownership a legal document commonly called a "Deed" must be prepared and brought to the Darke County Map Office.
  • Next the deed is taken to the Darke County Auditor's Office, where a $3.00 per thousand Conveyance Fee is paid, plus a Transfer Fee of $0.50 per parcel. If you have questions please call the Auditor's Office at: 937-547-7307.
  • Next the deed is taken to the Darke County Recorder's Office where it is legally recorded. Please contact the Darke County Recorder’s Office for the recording fee amount at 937-547-7390.

Tax Exempt Properties:

Some examples of real property that may qualify for Tax Exemption in Darke County are as follows:

  • Churches - the actual place of worship, Sunday school classrooms, fellowship halls, and pavilion areas used by the church. Parsonages are Not exempt. If the parsonage is on the same parcel as the church, the state will split off one acre and the parsonage as taxable. Sometimes the parsonage also has a church office, or the basement is used as church storage. In this case the state will exempt the office and basement, leaving the rest of the square footage taxable.
  • Schools - almost everything owned by the school is exempt, the school, baseball dugouts, tracks, concession stands, press boxes, etc.
  • Townships, Cities, and Villages - almost everything used for these entities is exempt.
  • Non-Profit Organizations - Salvation Army, Every Woman's House, etc.
  • County owned property
  • Public Parks
  • State of Ohio - ODOT, OARDC, OSU
  • Colleges
  • Graveyards
  • Hospitals

Note: If these entities were to lease a portion of their property for profit, or the land were vacant with no future plans for use, these portions would not qualify for tax exemption.

See the Tax Exemption Application

Community Reinvestment Area (CRA):

The Ohio Community Reinvestment Area program is an economic development tool administered by municipal and county governments that provides real property tax exemptions to businesses or individuals making investments in Ohio. In order to use this program a city, village, or county must petition the Ohio Department of Development for a geographical area in which investment in housing has generally been discouraged. The petition is reviewed by the department and a housing survey performed by the city, village, or county involved. Once an area is confirmed, communities may offer real property tax exemptions to taxpayers that invest in the area.

If you have questions on the Community Reinvestment Area program, please contact the Ohio Department of Development’s Tax Incentive Office by calling 614.466.4312 or 800.848.1300 or visit their web site at: http://www.development.ohio.gov/bs/bs_comreinvest.htm

Tax Increment Financing (TIF):

Tax Increment Financing is a method of assigning a portion of the taxes (usually dependent on charges in value beyond a given year) to a specific municipality to facilitate growth. It is an abatement but one that is taxed as if it were normal taxes. The difference is that the monies collected are not distributed to the normal taxing authority but typically either go straight to the municipality (city) or a combination of city and school.

Public Utilities Parcels:

Amended Substitute House Bill 66 enacted several changes that impacted the way some public utility real and personal property is valued and assessed. Preliminary assessments for railroad companies do not include values for non-operating railroad real property. It is the responsibility of the county auditor to value and assess non-operating railroad real property. The state sends preliminary assessments to the county auditor for public utilities that have taxable property in the county. The taxable values reflected on the certifications from the state must be placed on the Real and Public Utility Tax List with taxes computed accordingly.

If you have questions please call the Auditor's Office at: 937-547-7317.

History of Changes:

  • 1851 - New Construction required taxation of all property by uniform rule (but expressly authorized exemption for certain property classes, e.g. churches, schools, etc).
  • 1902 - End to state property tax levies for general fund.
  • 1910 - Culmination of reform movement leading to creation of single State Tax Commission to supervise local property tax administration.
  • 1925 - First statutory requirement for six-year reappraisal.
  • 1927 - Statute set aggregate tax limit of 15 mills on each dollar of tax valuation except for taxes approved by voters (1% of true value since 1901).
  • 1931 - Constitutional amendment limited levies without voters approval to 1.5% of true value.
  • 1933 - Constitution set limit of 1% of true value on non-voted levies.
  • 1934 - Statue reduced aggregate tax limit from 15 mills to 10 mills for non-voted levies.
  • 1939 - State Tax Commission replaced by Department of Taxation: A Board of Tax Appeals which supervised real property tax administration, and a Tax Commissioner assuming functions with respect to public utility property.
  • 1965 - First statutory requirement that real property be assessed at no more than 50% of true value, with actual percentage to be established by uniform rule of the Board of Tax Appeals.
  • 1971 - Enactment of 10% rollback and first legislation authorizing homestead exemptions.
  • 1972 - BTA rule setting tax value at 35% of true value to be implemented by all counties as they complete their sexennial appraisal cycle, with adjustments to maintain the 35% level.
  • 1973 - Top bracket of the homestead exemption increased from $8,000 to $10,000.
  • 1974 - Legislation authorized valuation of agricultural property according to current use (1973 constitutional amendment).
  • 1975 - Homestead exemption extended to permanently and totally disabled homeowners.
  • 1976 - Real property tax credits provided; real property valuations updated every three years; and State Department of Tax Equalization created.
  • 1976 - Definition of "total income" for homestead exemption amended to exclude disability benefits paid by the Veterans Administration and other branches of the armed services, and social security income increases after December 31, 1975.
  • 1976 - The limit of each homestead exemption income bracket increased by $1,000 (except the highest bracket).
  • 1978 - Closing date for payment of first half real property taxes changed.
  • 1979 - A 2.5% tax rollback on residential property is granted. The upper income limit on homestead exemption at $15,000 and created three $5,000 income brackets.
  • 1980 - Separate percentage reduction factors applied to two classes of real property (combined value of residential and agricultural property and value of other real property).
  • 1983 - Department of Tax Equalization eliminated and all of its functions transferred to the Department of Taxation.
  • 1986 - The limit of each homestead exemption income bracket increased by $1,500 beginning in tax year 1988.
  • 1991 - Homestead exemption extended to surviving spouses of homestead exemption recipients (1990 constitutional amendment)
  • 1994 - Extended Enterprise Zone program to December 31, 1997, reduced maximum percentage for tax exemptions and changed real property exemption procedures.
  • 1995 - The limit of each homestead exemption income bracket increased by $4,300 beginning in tax year 1995.
  • 1997 - Extended Enterprise Zone program to June 30, 1999.
  • 1998 - Permits treasurers in counties with a population of at least 200,000 to issue tax certificates on delinquent real property.
  • 1999 - The limit of each homestead exemption income bracket increased by 10.5% and the reduction in taxable value schedule was adjusted effective for tax year 1999. The brackets (tax year 2000) and the maximum deduction (tax year 2002) was indexed based on gross domestic product in future tax years.
  • 2000 - Manufactured homes purchased after Jan 1 are taxed like real property (An owner of a home purchased prior to January 1, 2000 has the option of converting to this new taxation method)
  • 2007 - Homestead exemption no longer based on income levels is available to home owners based on age and home ownership (see homestead page for more homestead qualification details)
  • 2014 – Homestead exemption is based on income levels and is available to homeowners based on age and home ownership (See homestead page for more homestead qualification details)

See the Homestead Page for more information.