Montgomery County approves tax extension for tornado victims

Local News

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Montgomery County is giving those hit hardest by the Memorial Day tornadoes extra time to pay their taxes.

Tuesday, the county treasurer and auditor certified extensions for people who previously filed. John Barber was one of them. His home on Woodhaven Avenue in Harrison Township was one of many in the path of last year’s tornadoes.

“Had all of the windows busted out of it. Had all of the siding busted off of it,” describes Barber.

The storms hit two months before the July 2019 tax deadline and in communities where every dollar counts.

“They were stretching dollars to begin with,” says Montgomery County Treasurer Russ Joseph.

“We’ve determined so far about $46 million dollars in value lost,” estimates Montgomery County Auditor Karl Keith. “We just didn’t think it was fair, and the treasurer didn’t think it was fair that someone who lost their home or had significant damage done to their home, that they should have to pay a full tax bill again until they got on their feet.”

Tuesday, Barber was approved for Montgomery County’s tax extension.

“Provision of the law allows taxpayers to defer their taxes when they’ve been involved in a natural disaster. This was the first time we’ve ever used that provision of the law here in Montgomery County,” says Keith.

Unlike Barber, not everyone took advantage. While more than 4,000 property owners in Montgomery County were impacted by the tornadoes, a mere 70 deferred their taxes for a year.

“That was up to them then whether they would go ahead and pay their taxes last year,” says Joseph. “Some just like knowing that’s taken care of if they have the resources to do it.”

For those like Barber, it was a chance to lessen the financial blow.

“It allowed us to lower the value of their property as a result of the tornado damage, and it allowed them to save on their tax bill this year,” states Keith. “Just to give them a little more time to get on their feet and make repairs or whatever they needed to do.”

“Anything like that helps us. We’ve been real fragile,” admits Barber.

For owners who applied and were approved, the second half of their 2018 property taxes are due July 17, 2020.

“We’ll be in touch with them to make sure they understand all of the extensions that were granted, what is due in February for them, and what will be due in July,” says Joseph.

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