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Storm Damage Could Net Property Tax Break

Homeowners Could Receive Reduction On Next Year's Tax Bill

LIBERTY TOWNSHIP, Ohio -- Property owners who suffered damage from this week's storms are eligible for tax breaks from county and state governments.

"We had a row of five apples trees and pear trees, (and) this is what's left of them and our cherry tree," said Shayne Gehing, of Liberty Township.

Across the street, Dan Guy needs some new windows.

"We ran through our hallway and a window blew out of our upstairs bathroom just as we passed through it," Guy said.

Homeowners who can provide their county auditor with proof of storm damage, such as photos and an appraisal from their insurance company, could be eligible for a tax break.

"We're looking at real properties, structural damage or, like I said, large trees," said Roger Reynolds, Butler County auditor. "We'll take that information and we'll calculate the value of damage, and from that we'll reduce the property value."

Owners would see a tax reduction on next year's bill, but the amount would depend on the damage and where they live.

"Typically in the Lakota School District area for about $10,000 in reduction in property value you're looking at $150 in savings," Reynolds said.

For example, a new roof that costs about $5,000 would shave $75 from your tax bill. Flooded basements could save you several hundred dollars.

"Roofs, windows, flooded basements, we're seeing a lot of flooded basements, and my guess is people don't realize they can actually receive a break off of their next years taxes because of that," Reynolds said.

In the month of May, you're looking at a reduction of 75 percent of the total damage, so for $10,000 in damage, the auditor would reduce the property tax bill by $7,500.

Damage to furniture or appliances are not covered, and claims must be filed by the end of the year.