DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Montgomery County Auditor Karl Keith has earned a prestigious 2018 Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties (NACo) for the community outreach performed on behalf of his office’s 2017 update of property values.
It was announced Tuesday Keith’s “Back on Track” community engagement campaign received the Achievement Award in the civic education and public information category for increasing property owners’ understanding of the property valuation process and encouraging their participation in that process.
Montgomery County was one of only four Ohio counties to receive an Achievement Award, and one of only 116 counties nationwide.
“It is truly an honor to receive this award,” Keith said. “I have my staff to thank for the tremendous success of the property value update. A large number of employees were involved in this effort, and their dedication really made this project a success.”
The Auditor’s Office said in a release the community engagement campaign involved reaching property owners through a number of different methods, including video advertising, community presentations, news stories, mailed notices, a phone hotline and one-on-one property value review meetings. The Auditor’s Office estimates that it reached county property owners an average of four times each over the course of the yearlong campaign.
TV and web video advertising, primarily on Facebook and Youtube, was a major facet of the outreach. These ads reached more than 418,000 individuals nearly twice each. In addition, the owners of each of the county’s more than 220,000 properties were mailed two notices of their updated property value. Auditor Keith also spoke to property owners in-person, giving presentations on the subject to more than 50 community groups.
According to the Auditor’s Office, property owners took advantage of multiple opportunities to provide their own input as part of the property value update process. More than 7,000 individuals called the Auditor’s Office Property Owner Hotline to ask questions or provide new information about their property. Of those, more than 3,300 property owners scheduled a one-on-one property value review meeting to review and appeal their new value. Finally, more than 2,700 filed formal property value appeals earlier this year.
“Our goal was to engage property owners in the property valuation process in a way that few counties do,” Keith said. “We wanted to go above and beyond to give property owners a voice in the determination of their new property values.”
The Auditor’s Office was one of three Montgomery County departments to receive a NACo Achievement Award this year. Public Health of Dayton & Montgomery County won in the human services category for the Community Overdose Action Team, which has reduced overdose deaths in the county. Montgomery County Development Services won in the community and economic development category for the MicroEnterprise Demonstration Grant program which helps small companies grow.