Real estate tax basics
Taxes are billed in biannual installments. Deadlines are on the first Friday in March and August each year. Statements are mailed at least 20 days in advance. If you don’t receive a bill, call the Treasurer’s Office. Ohio law says you are responsible for real estate taxes even if you don’t get a bill.
Keep in mind that the tax year and collection year are not the same. You will be billed for this year’s taxes next year.
By law, the current owner is billed for last year’s taxes. You may have been compensated for taxes when the real estate transaction was finalized, or you may have assumed delinquent taxes when the title was transferred. Contact your banker, real estate agent or title company office.
How much you owe depends on the taxable value of your property. That is 35 percent of what the County Auditor says is fair-market value of your land and improvements (house, garage, etc.). Fair-market value reflects the quality of your property and what similar properties in that neighborhood have sold for lately.
Taxes also are tied to levies that have been approved by voters in your taxing district to support schools, safety forces, parks, public transportation and social services. Levies are stated in mills. A mill is $1 in tax per $1,000 in assessed property value.
- You can now pay your property taxes on-line from February 1st through the first Friday in March and from July 1st through the first Friday in August. It was all done through the cooperation of the County Treasurer and the County Auditor. Just go to the Property Search under the Auditor's pages and bring up the property record for your property and you will see a link on the left hand side under Payments for "Pay Taxes". Click here to go to Mahoning County's Property Search page to pay your taxes on-line.
- Taxes can be included in your monthly mortgage payments. Your lender will keep the tax portion of each payment in an escrow account, then pay your taxes when due. Your lender will receive your tax bills, and you will receive annual summary statements from the Treasurer.
- The Treasurer’s Tax Installment Plan also enables you to prepay taxes in monthly installments. Money is held in an escrow account until your next tax bill is due. The Treasurer’s Office provides monthly payment coupons. There are no additional fees for joining TIP, but you must be current on your real estate taxes in order to qualify. Call (330) 740-2460 ext. 7761 to apply.
By law, a 10 percent penalty is assessed on unpaid taxes after each collection period closes and interest is charged on unpaid balances from prior years.
At the end of each tax year, properties with past-due balances are certified as delinquent. Then the Treasurer may sell tax liens. Whoever buys a lien will pay delinquent taxes on a property, then expect to be repaid by the owner for that amount plus interest. The lien holder also has the legal right to foreclose on the property.
Q. Will the amount of my real estate taxes change every year?
A. Possibly. Taxes rise when property values increase or voters in your taxing district approve levies or bond issues. Taxes decrease when property values decline or levies expire. Your Treasurer has no authority to increase your real estate tax.
Q. How are real estate taxes used?
A. Nearly two-thirds of taxes benefit school districts in Mahoning County. Approximately 12 percent is allocated to municipal or township governments. Two percent is collected for locally-approved levies, such as police and fire districts and public transit. Remaining funds are shared by voter-approved levies for parks, libraries, children’s services and more.
Q. Why didn’t I receive the Homestead Exemption?
A. The County Auditor, not the Treasurer, approves tax credits and reductions.