Owners of weather-damaged properties could seek property-tax relief from the Franklin County Auditor’s Office.

Auditor Michael Stinziano said if such calamities as wind, floods, tornadoes, fire and lightning result in significant property damage, residents may apply for up to 100 percent property-tax relief.

“We want to make sure citizens who have suffered structural damage to their property are informed about their options regarding potential tax relief,” he said.

Owners of houses and businesses must prove the property value suffered as a result of severe weather and restore the structure to its previous value, said Monica Moran, a spokeswoman for the office.

If the damage occurred from Jan. 1 to March 31, property owners have until Dec. 31 to apply for the 100 percent reduction, Moran said.

Applications for a property-value reduction and additional information are available on the auditor’s website, franklincountyauditor.com.

The relief is granted on a sliding scale throughout the calendar year: 75 percent if the damage occurs from April to June, 50 percent from July to September and 25 percent from October to December, at which time property owners would have until Jan. 31 to seek relief from the auditor, Moran said.

Furniture or other personal possessions are not included in the program, she said, and all claims must be approved by the auditor’s office.

An on-site inspection would occur within 30 days of the claim being filed and the property would be evaluated at that time, Moran said.

For example, if someone owns a $100,000 house and it’s estimated that the damage resulted in a $20,000 decrease in the property value, the assessed value would be $80,000 and re-evaluated the next year, she said.

When the house is returned to the original condition, the property’s original value would be restored, Moran said.

For more information, call the Franklin County Auditor’s Office at 614-525-4663.

gseman@thisweeknews.com

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