Hundreds of tornado survivors apply for property tax relief

Local News

TROTWOOD, Ohio (WDTN) – Nearly six months after the Memorial Day tornadoes, residents in some of the hardest hit areas are still in the process of rebuilding or making repairs.

Montgomery County Auditor Karl Keith announced Monday that so far, the Memorial Day tornadoes have resulted in a total loss of $46.3 million in property value across the county.

Earlier this year, the auditor’s office began accepting applications for those with damaged or destroyed homes and businesses to get their property values reduced.

According to the auditor, more than 1,200 applications were submitted, with one-third of those coming from Trotwood and another third from Harrison Township.

For Joan Diggs of Trotwood, the first of several repairs needed has just started at her home.

“What you’re seeing they’re doing now with the porch, it’s our understanding that we’re going to have to pay that out of pocket,” she said.

Diggs said she and her family applied to have their property value reduced with the hopes of paying lower taxes next year.

“It’s going to have a long-term impact, not only for those properties, but for the surrounding properties as well,” Keith said.

Montgomery County is set to lose an estimated $1.7 million in tax revenue for 2020, he added.

“We anticipate that we’ll pick up some of this value as time goes on,” Keith said. “Some of these values that have been reduced, some of these properties that have been reduced, have been repaired since.”

The relief will help in the short term, Diggs said. But she hopes her property value does eventually go back up to what it was before the storm.

“It’s so much damage that’s still around on our street, on neighboring streets,” she said.

Some school districts in the affected areas are set to lose hundreds of thousands of dollars due to the decrease in tax revenue, Keith said.

The auditor’s office will send out letters this week to all applicants to let them know if their property has been given a decrease in value, Keith said.

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