321.261 Treasurer's delinquent tax and assessment collection fund; prosecuting attorney's delinquent tax and assessment collection fund.

(A) In each county treasury there shall be created the treasurer's delinquent tax and assessment collection fund and the prosecuting attorney's delinquent tax and assessment collection fund. Except as otherwise provided in this division, two and one-half per cent of all delinquent real property, personal property, and manufactured and mobile home taxes and assessments collected by the county treasurer shall be deposited in the treasurer's delinquent tax and assessment collection fund, and two and one-half per cent of such delinquent taxes and assessments shall be deposited in the prosecuting attorney's delinquent tax and assessment collection fund. The board of county commissioners shall appropriate to the county treasurer from the treasurer's delinquent tax and assessment collection fund, and shall appropriate to the prosecuting attorney from the prosecuting attorney's delinquent tax and assessment collection fund, money to the credit of the respective fund, and except as provided in division (D) of this section, the appropriation shall be used only for the following purposes:

(1) By the county treasurer or the county prosecuting attorney in connection with the collection of delinquent real property, personal property, and manufactured and mobile home taxes and assessments, including proceedings related to foreclosure of the state's lien for such taxes against such property;

(2) With respect to any portion of the amount appropriated from the treasurer's delinquent tax and assessment collection fund for the benefit of a county land reutilization corporation organized under Chapter 1724. of the Revised Code, the county land reutilization corporation. Upon the deposit of amounts in the treasurer's delinquent tax and assessment collection fund , any amounts allocated at the direction of the treasurer to the support of the county land reutilization corporation shall be paid out of such fund to the corporation upon a warrant of the county auditor.

If the balance in the treasurer's or prosecuting attorney's delinquent tax and assessment collection fund exceeds three times the amount deposited into the fund in the preceding year, the treasurer or prosecuting attorney, on or before the twentieth day of October of the current year, may direct the county auditor to forgo the allocation of delinquent taxes and assessments to that officer's respective fund in the ensuing year. If the county auditor receives such direction, the auditor shall cause the portion of taxes and assessments that otherwise would be credited to the fund under this section in that ensuing year to be allocated and distributed among taxing units' funds as otherwise provided in this chapter and other applicable law.

(B) During the period of time that a county land reutilization corporation is functioning as such on behalf of a county, the board of county commissioners, upon the request of the county treasurer, may designate by resolution that an additional amount, not exceeding five per cent of all collections of delinquent real property, personal property, and manufactured and mobile home taxes and assessments, shall be deposited in the treasurer's delinquent tax and assessment collection fund and be available for appropriation by the board for the use of the corporation. Any such amounts so deposited and appropriated under this division shall be paid out of the treasurer's delinquent tax and assessment collection fund to the corporation upon a warrant of the county auditor.

(C) Annually by the first day of December, the county treasurer and the prosecuting attorney each shall submit a report to the board of county commissioners regarding the use of the moneys appropriated from their respective delinquent tax and assessment collection funds. Each report shall specify the amount appropriated from the fund during the current calendar year, an estimate of the amount so appropriated that will be expended by the end of the year, a summary of how the amount appropriated has been expended in connection with delinquent tax collection activities or land reutilization, and an estimate of the amount that will be credited to the fund during the ensuing calendar year.

The annual report of a county land reutilization corporation required by section 1724.05 of the Revised Code shall include information regarding the amount and use of the moneys that the corporation received from the treasurer's delinquent tax and assessment collection fund .

(D)

(1) In any county, if the county treasurer or prosecuting attorney determines that the balance to the credit of that officer's corresponding delinquent tax and assessment collection fund exceeds the amount required to be used as prescribed by division (A) of this section, the county treasurer or prosecuting attorney may expend the excess to prevent residential mortgage foreclosures in the county and to address problems associated with other foreclosed real property. The amount used for that purpose in any year may not exceed the amount that would cause the fund to have a reserve of less than twenty per cent of the amount expended in the preceding year for the purposes of division (A) of this section. The county treasurer or prosecuting attorney may not expend any money from the officer's fund for the purpose of land reutilization unless the county treasurer or prosecuting attorney obtains the approval of the county investment advisory committee established under section 135.341 of the Revised Code.

Money authorized to be expended under division (D)(1) of this section shall be used to provide financial assistance in the form of loans to borrowers in default on their home mortgages, including for the payment of late fees, to clear arrearage balances, and to augment moneys used in the county's foreclosure prevention program. The money also may be used to assist municipal corporations or townships in the county, upon their application to the county treasurer, prosecuting attorney, or the county department of development, in the nuisance abatement of deteriorated residential buildings in foreclosure, or vacant, abandoned, tax-delinquent, or blighted real property, including paying the costs of boarding up such buildings, lot maintenance, and demolition.

(2) In a county having a population of more than one hundred thousand according to the department of development's 2006 census estimate, if the county treasurer or prosecuting attorney determines that the balance to the credit of that officer's corresponding delinquent tax and assessment collection fund exceeds the amount required to be used as prescribed by division (A) of this section, the county treasurer or prosecuting attorney may expend the excess to assist townships or municipal corporations located in the county as provided in division (D)(2) of this section, provided that the combined amount so expended each year in a county shall not exceed three million dollars. Upon application for the funds by a township or municipal corporation, the county treasurer or prosecuting attorney may assist the township or municipal corporation in abating foreclosed residential nuisances, including paying the costs of securing such buildings, lot maintenance, and demolition. At the prosecuting attorney's discretion, the prosecuting attorney also may apply the funds to costs of prosecuting alleged violations of criminal and civil laws governing real estate and related transactions, including fraud and abuse.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.28, HB 153, §101.01, eff. 9/29/2011.

Amended by 128th General AssemblyFile No.9, HB 1, §101.01, eff. 10/16/2009.

Effective Date: 03-30-1999; 2008 HB359 09-30-2008; 2008 SB353 04-07-2009