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Lucas Co. Auditor Anita López enters “Deadline Season”

 

By La Prensa Staff

 

Dec. 24, 2018: While everyone celebrates the holiday season, the Lucas County Auditor’s office is gearing up for a busy season of deadlines ranging from property values to dog license applications. County auditor Anita López and her staff have the tough task of focusing the public on those deadlines during a very distracting time of celebration for families and households.

 

Ms. López, the only Latino to hold county-wide office in Lucas County, won re-election without opposition in November, then found herself in a dispute with the state tax commissioner over property values. The contention focused on property value increases from the Ohio Dept. of Taxation that were much higher than the county auditor’s revaluation process, which occurs every six years.

 

State taxation officials recommended increases in property values that Ms. López thought were overinflated. Countywide, property values will increase nine percent on average, although some communities will see hikes as high as 12 percent. Ms. López contended that the state’s analysis doesn’t accurately reflect Lucas County’s housing market, then took a stand with the state once she received feedback from angry property owners.

 

State taxation officials ended up filing a formal order, demanding Ms. López comply with their assessment, threatening to withhold funding to local school districts and governments if she refused to adjust property values accordingly. That essentially forced the hand of Ms. López.

 

In response, the county auditor is encouraging any property owner who disputes the increased value to challenge it through the county’s Board of Revision. Property owners can begin filing challenges after Jan. 1, which will likely keep the county auditor’s office busy.

 

Ms. López plans to make sure of that, vowing to put the proper appeal paperwork into the hands of every interested citizen so they have a chance to be heard at least locally. The county auditor also plans to run newspaper ads reminding property owners of their rights and the deadlines.

 

Ms. López has gained a reputation as a champion of taxpayers, after taking over the county auditor’s office during the economic downturn that led to a lot of property foreclosures. The heavy reliance on local levy dollars prompted Ms. López to establish an online tax calculator, so home and business owners could see firsthand how levy increases would directly impact them on their property tax bill. Other consumer-friendly measures have followed over the years.

 

Meantime, dog licensing for the 2019 season began Dec. 1 and runs through Jan. 31, 2019. A one-year dog license costs $25, while a three-year license runs $75. A lifetime dog licenses costs $250. You can obtain a dog license at 31 retailers across Lucas County, directly though the county auditor’s office at One Government Center or at Lucas Co. Canine Care and Control, 410 S. Erie St., or online at:

 

http://lcapps.co.lucas.oh.us/OnlineDogTags/StartOrder.aspx.

 

Canine owners who purchase a dog license will also receive a Lucas County Loves Dogs reward card in key fob form, good for discounts at 15 local vendors, including dog-related retailers, pizza shops, a car wash and others. According to the auditor’s office, taking advantage of offers attached to the rewards card throughout the year could offset the cost of a dog license.

 

Anyone who misses the dog license deadline will be assessed a penalty of $25 per pet. Ohio law requires dog owners to obtain a license for any dog over three months of age.

 

The dog tag system is designed to reunite lost pets with their owners. There is an online Lucas County dog tag database available to search dog owner information. The license on a dog’s collar identifies the owner so the pet can be returned home or turned in at Lucas County Canine Care and Control, where the owner will be notified in person or by phone and certified mail.

 

¿Pregintas? Lucas County Auditor at (419) 213-4443.

 
Copyright © 1989 to 2018 by [LaPrensa Publications Inc.]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 12/26/18 20:31:51 -0800.

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