Fayette County Auditor Aaron Coole is returning $1.5 million in real estate assessment dollars to local governments, school districts, and other area entities.
“I decided to do a distribution from the Real Estate Assessment (REA) Fund,” said Coole in a recent interview with the Record-Herald. “The long and short of this is, when people pay their property tax, the auditor’s office collects a small percentage of that, it goes into the real estate assessment fund, which is a specific fund for real estate assessment purposes only.”
REA funds can only be spent on the appraisals and related real estate work in the county auditor’s office with the approval of the state tax commissioner. They can be spent for no other purposes until such time as they are declared surplus by the county auditor. Then the county’s general fund receives its share as do other taxing entities, according to the state code.
Among the largest payments will be $739,272 to the Miami Trace Local School District, $258,038 to the Washington Court House City School District, $96,296 to the Fayette County general fund, and $94,398 to the Board of DD.
“This is all in the code, so it’s based on their percentage of this year’s collection,” said Coole. “So this is money that was there already that we’ve been keeping in a fund. We’re never going to use all that. The code says when you’re done with your assessment, which we are now, any unused money you’re supposed to give back. Now, some auditors do and some don’t. The fund has been building up for several years. We don’t need it anymore so we’re giving it back to them, and we have a complete list of everyone that will get checks.”
Other reimbursements include: $40,701 to the health department, $17 to the East Clinton Local School District, $8,352 to Greenfield Schools, $842 to the Greeneview Local School District, $1,162 to Madison Plains School District, $82 to the Tolles Career Center, $69,830 to Great Oaks, $84 to Greene County JVSD, $4,504 to Concord Township, $2,833 to Green Township, $1,582 to Jasper Township, $4,636 to Jasper Township excluding Milledgeville and Octa, $11,540 to Jefferson Township excluding Jeffersonville and Octa, $7,725 to Jefferson Township, $1,226 to Jefferson Township TIF, $9,902 to Madison Township, $3,088 to Marion Township excluding New Holland, $1,125 to Marion Township, $2,643 to Paint Township, $3,801 to Paint Township excluding Bloomingburg, $3,970 to Perry Township, $18,166 to Union Township, $5,003 to Union Township TIF, $5,228 to Wayne Township, $2,055 to Bloomingburg, $4,232 to Jeffersonville, $396 to Milledgeville, $480 to New Holland, $365 to Octa, $19,707 to Washington Court House, $42,737 to Washington Court House TIF, $28,548 to Paint Valley Mental Health District, $4,177 to BPM Joint Fire, and $1,240 to Pick-A-Fay Fire.
The distributions are based on the amount of tax dollars each local government, school district and taxing entity collected and therefore contributed to the REA fund. Money is distributed proportionate to that collection history.
Reach Ryan Carter at 740-313-0352 or on Twitter @rywica