Lucas Co Auditor refunding $4.5 million in savings to local enti - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Lucas Co Auditor refunding $4.5 million in savings to local entities

(Source: WTOL) (Source: WTOL)

Some taxpayers are breathing a sigh of relief in the Springfield Township school district.

Homeowners who received notices about their property taxes increasing no longer have to worry. The school district dropped the challenge to the property taxes. 

By law, school districts, which are primarily funded through property taxes, are allowed to challenge that tax bills be based on the sale price for homes, which sell for more than $50,000 above the value on county records. 

This happened for about 100 properties in the Springfield School District.

At Wednesday night's meeting Lucas County Auditor, Anita Lopez said she would give the district the money it would have made on the challenges in exchange for vote to drop them. 

"As auditor, I have one fund that I'm only responsible for and that fund allows me to save dollars and every six years, refund those dollars to every government entity," Lopez said. "Beginning from the Lucas County all the way down to the Metroparks and anyone who receives funds from the real estate fund.".

Lopez says, since taking office, she's been able to cut costs by about $5 million. She's going to keep $700,000 of that in savings and refund $4.5 million. 

Lopez is dispersing the cash, proportionate to the percentage the entity collects from the real estate fund.

Toledo Public Schools is getting the biggest chunk of change, about $905,000.  Sylvania Schools is set to get about $580,000 and Washington Local, about $316,000.

"The schools will receive a little bit more this year than they would have received out of suing property tax owners. The school made that decision. They could have continued and they recognized that we all want to help the schools get the state to properly fund education at the local level," Lopez said. "I'm glad I was able to save those dollars. Just good, old-fashioned cutting and saving dollars. And those are the people's dollars. They're not mine. So we were able to use that to help the schools."

Sylvania had previously voted to drop its property tax challenges against more than 200 homeowners. New property valuations will be issues by the County Auditor in 2018.

Other entities will be receiving refunds as well. Children Services is set to get about $304,000 and Toledo-Lucas County Public Library about $150,000.

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