323.153 Application for reduction in real property taxes.

(A) To obtain a reduction in real property taxes under division (A) or (B) of section 323.152 of the Revised Code or in manufactured home taxes under division (B) of section 323.152 of the Revised Code, the owner shall file an application with the county auditor of the county in which the owner's homestead is located.

To obtain a reduction in real property taxes under division (A) of section 323.152 of the Revised Code, the occupant of a homestead in a housing cooperative shall file an application with the nonprofit corporation that owns and operates the housing cooperative, in accordance with this paragraph. Not later than the first day of March each year, the corporation shall obtain applications from the county auditor's office and provide one to each new occupant. Not later than the first day of May, any occupant who may be eligible for a reduction in taxes under division (A) of section 323.152 of the Revised Code shall submit the completed application to the corporation. Not later than the fifteenth day of May, the corporation shall file all completed applications, and the information required by division (B) of section 323.159 of the Revised Code, with the county auditor of the county in which the occupants' homesteads are located. Continuing applications shall be furnished to an occupant in the manner provided in division (C)(4) of this section.

(1) An application for reduction based upon a physical disability shall be accompanied by a certificate signed by a physician, and an application for reduction based upon a mental disability shall be accompanied by a certificate signed by a physician or psychologist licensed to practice in this state, attesting to the fact that the applicant is permanently and totally disabled. The certificate shall be in a form that the tax commissioner requires and shall include the definition of permanently and totally disabled as set forth in section 323.151 of the Revised Code. An application for reduction based upon a disability certified as permanent and total by a state or federal agency having the function of so classifying persons shall be accompanied by a certificate from that agency.

An application for a reduction under division (A) of section 323.152 of the Revised Code constitutes a continuing application for a reduction in taxes for each year in which the dwelling is the applicant's homestead.

(2) An application for a reduction in taxes under division (B) of section 323.152 of the Revised Code shall be filed only if the homestead or manufactured or mobile home was transferred in the preceding year or did not qualify for and receive the reduction in taxes under that division for the preceding tax year. The application for homesteads transferred in the preceding year shall be incorporated into any form used by the county auditor to administer the tax law in respect to the conveyance of real property pursuant to section 319.20 of the Revised Code or of used manufactured homes or used mobile homes as defined in section 5739.0210 of the Revised Code. The owner of a manufactured or mobile home who has elected under division (D)(4) of section 4503.06 of the Revised Code to be taxed under division (D)(2) of that section for the ensuing year may file the application at the time of making that election. The application shall contain a statement that failure by the applicant to affirm on the application that the dwelling on the property conveyed is the applicant's homestead prohibits the owner from receiving the reduction in taxes until a proper application is filed within the period prescribed by division (A)(3) of this section. Such an application constitutes a continuing application for a reduction in taxes for each year in which the dwelling is the applicant's homestead.

(3) Failure to receive a new application filed under division (A)(1) or (2) or notification under division (C) of this section after an application for reduction has been approved is prima-facie evidence that the original applicant is entitled to the reduction in taxes calculated on the basis of the information contained in the original application. The original application and any subsequent application, including any late application, shall be in the form of a signed statement and shall be filed after the first Monday in January and not later than the first Monday in June. The original application and any subsequent application for a reduction in real property taxes shall be filed in the year for which the reduction is sought. The original application and any subsequent application for a reduction in manufactured home taxes shall be filed in the year preceding the year for which the reduction is sought. The statement shall be on a form, devised and supplied by the tax commissioner, which shall require no more information than is necessary to establish the applicant's eligibility for the reduction in taxes and the amount of the reduction, and, except for homesteads that are units in a housing cooperative, shall include an affirmation by the applicant that ownership of the homestead was not acquired from a person, other than the applicant's spouse, related to the owner by consanguinity or affinity for the purpose of qualifying for the real property or manufactured home tax reduction provided for in division (A) or (B) of section 323.152 of the Revised Code. The form shall contain a statement that conviction of willfully falsifying information to obtain a reduction in taxes or failing to comply with division (C) of this section results in the revocation of the right to the reduction for a period of three years. In the case of an application for a reduction in taxes for persons described in division (A)(2)(c) of section 323.152 of the Revised Code, the form shall contain a statement that signing the application constitutes a delegation of authority by the applicant to the tax commissioner or the county auditor, individually or in consultation with each other, to examine any tax or financial records relating to the income of the applicant as stated on the application for the purpose of determining eligibility for the exemption or a possible violation of division (D) or (E) of this section.

(B) A late application for a tax reduction for the year preceding the year in which an original application is filed, or for a reduction in manufactured home taxes for the year in which an original application is filed, may be filed with the original application. If the county auditor determines the information contained in the late application is correct, the auditor shall determine the amount of the reduction in taxes to which the applicant would have been entitled for the preceding tax year had the applicant's application been timely filed and approved in that year.

The amount of such reduction shall be treated by the auditor as an overpayment of taxes by the applicant and shall be refunded in the manner prescribed in section 5715.22 of the Revised Code for making refunds of overpayments. On the first day of July of each year, the county auditor shall certify the total amount of the reductions in taxes made in the current year under this division to the tax commissioner, who shall treat the full amount thereof as a reduction in taxes for the preceding tax year and shall make reimbursement to the county therefor in the manner prescribed by section 323.156 of the Revised Code, from money appropriated for that purpose.

(C)

(1) If, in any year after an application has been filed under division (A)(1) or (2) of this section, the owner does not qualify for a reduction in taxes on the homestead or on the manufactured or mobile home set forth on such application, the owner shall notify the county auditor that the owner is not qualified for a reduction in taxes.

(2) If, in any year after an application has been filed under division (A)(1) of this section, the occupant of a homestead in a housing cooperative does not qualify for a reduction in taxes on the homestead, the occupant shall notify the county auditor that the occupant is not qualified for a reduction in taxes or file a new application under division (A)(1) of this section.

(3) If the county auditor or county treasurer discovers that the owner of property not entitled to the reduction in taxes under division (B) of section 323.152 of the Revised Code failed to notify the county auditor as required by division (C)(1) of this section, a charge shall be imposed against the property in the amount by which taxes were reduced under that division for each tax year the county auditor ascertains that the property was not entitled to the reduction and was owned by the current owner. Interest shall accrue in the manner prescribed by division (B) of section 323.121 or division (G)(2) of section 4503.06 of the Revised Code on the amount by which taxes were reduced for each such tax year as if the reduction became delinquent taxes at the close of the last day the second installment of taxes for that tax year could be paid without penalty. The county auditor shall notify the owner, by ordinary mail, of the charge, of the owner's right to appeal the charge, and of the manner in which the owner may appeal. The owner may appeal the imposition of the charge and interest by filing an appeal with the county board of revision not later than the last day prescribed for payment of real and public utility property taxes under section 323.12 of the Revised Code following receipt of the notice and occurring at least ninety days after receipt of the notice. The appeal shall be treated in the same manner as a complaint relating to the valuation or assessment of real property under Chapter 5715. of the Revised Code. The charge and any interest shall be collected as other delinquent taxes.

(4) Each year during January, the county auditor shall furnish by ordinary mail a continuing application to each person receiving a reduction under division (A) of section 323.152 of the Revised Code. The continuing application shall be used to report changes in total income, ownership, occupancy, disability, and other information earlier furnished the auditor relative to the reduction in taxes on the property. The continuing application shall be returned to the auditor not later than the first Monday in June; provided, that if such changes do not affect the status of the homestead exemption or the amount of the reduction to which the owner is entitled under division (A) of section 323.152 of the Revised Code or to which the occupant is entitled under section 323.159 of the Revised Code, the application does not need to be returned.

(5) Each year during February, the county auditor, except as otherwise provided in this paragraph, shall furnish by ordinary mail an original application to the owner, as of the first day of January of that year, of a homestead or a manufactured or mobile home that transferred during the preceding calendar year and that qualified for and received a reduction in taxes under division (B) of section 323.152 of the Revised Code for the preceding tax year. In order to receive the reduction under that division, the owner shall file the application with the county auditor not later than the first Monday in June. If the application is not timely filed, the auditor shall not grant a reduction in taxes for the homestead for the current year, and shall notify the owner that the reduction in taxes has not been granted, in the same manner prescribed under section 323.154 of the Revised Code for notification of denial of an application. Failure of an owner to receive an application does not excuse the failure of the owner to file an original application. The county auditor is not required to furnish an application under this paragraph for any homestead for which application has previously been made on a form incorporated into any form used by the county auditor to administer the tax law in respect to the conveyance of real property or of used manufactured homes or used mobile homes, and an owner who previously has applied on such a form is not required to return an application furnished under this paragraph.

(D) No person shall knowingly make a false statement for the purpose of obtaining a reduction in the person's real property or manufactured home taxes under section 323.152 of the Revised Code.

(E) No person shall knowingly fail to notify the county auditor of changes required by division (C) of this section that have the effect of maintaining or securing a reduction in taxes under section 323.152 of the Revised Code.

(F) No person shall knowingly make a false statement or certification attesting to any person's physical or mental condition for purposes of qualifying such person for tax relief pursuant to sections 323.151 to 323.159 of the Revised Code.

Amended by 130th General Assembly File No. 25, HB 59, §101.01, eff. 9/29/2013.

Effective Date: 04-09-2001; 2007 HB119 06-30-2007; 2008 HB130 04-07-2009