Ohio Animals in the News

January 11th, 2011

“Be courageous! Whatever setbacks America has encountered, it has always emerged as a stronger and more prosperous nation….”
“Be brave as your fathers before you. Have faith and go forward” Thomas Alva Edison


Ohio Animals in the News


The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is asking local residents for help rounding up the remaining 7 prairie dogs still on the loose from a group of 11 who escaped from their temporary quarters on Friday.  The Assistant Curator said in a statement that the Zoo does not believe the escapees have left the property, but is asking neighbors to be on the look out just in case.  (There has been talk of bringing in the groundskeeper that Bill Murray’s character was based on in the movie, ‘Caddyshack’, if the animals are not located by spring.)       

Ohio is only the second state in recent history to ban the “owning, breeding, selling or trading of wild exotic animals.”  Outgoing Governor Ted Strickland issued the prohibition by executive order last week.  Current owners of exotic animals, which include tigers, bears, and elephants, will be required to register them each year, making it easier for authorities to keep track of potential abuse and/or exploitation. 

Oddly, Ohio’s neighbor to the south, Kentucky, has been designated by the Animal Legal Defense Fund as the best state to live in if you are an animal abuser–for the fourth year running!  Its complete lack of animal protection laws and inability to stop the rampant cock-fighting rings in the state are cited as reasons for the distinction.

- John Hewson

*John is a new contributor to our Blog, and we welcome his insights on the goings on in Ohio! Welcome, John!

Franklin County Tax Assessment

January 5th, 2011
Ohio Residential Appraisal Services 

Attention Franklin County Residents…Your real estate tax bills will be mailed in mid-December!

If you believe the market value of your home is less than the county auditors total assessed value, you have the right to dispute your tax assessment. Last tax year, a 3 member board processed more than 65000 dispute applications. Don’t miss out on the opportunity this year to ensure your assessment is accurate. Typical resolution time of a tax appeal may be up to 6 months. A current real estate appraisal of your home can expedite the process. We can not only provide an appraisal, but will also help guide you through the appeals process. The Buckeye Appraisal Service staff has over 45 years experience conducting Real estate Appraisals in the state of Ohio with an A+ Better business bureau rating.The Columbus Board of Realtors reports the average market sales price has decreased by $22,318 since 2006 (as of September, 2009). 

Appeal applications are only accepted from December (after the tax bill is mailed) through March 31.


  • STEP 1: Visit the Franklin County Auditors Site to check the current total assessed value of your home. Click Property Search > search by name, address or parcel > Area sales activity > Get report > Compare your home to similar sales in the past 3 to 6 months.
  • STEP 2: Click here to order a real estate appraisal of your home conducted by a local, state licensed professional appraiser.
  • STEP 3: Download (PDF) and print the complete BOR Application form.
  • STEP 4: Once you have received your appraisal report from Buckeye Appraisal Service, you can email it along with the BOR application form to the Franklin County Auditor for review.

REMINDER: Appeal applications are ONLY accepted from December (after the tax bill is mailed) through March 31.
Appeals are reviewed on a first come, first serve basis. Call us now at (614) 876-3124 or order your appraisal completed NOW before the year end rush! Mention this ad and receive your appraisal for only $300 ($25.00 off our standard fee) 

Reappraisal is the Remedy

January 4th, 2011

In an insightful article, the Colubus Distpatch’s Bill Bush discusses why the “Tax value of homes are likely to be sliced.” 

You can read the full article on the Dispatch’s site or below. 

Tax value of homes likely to be sliced

Sunday, January 2, 2011  03:00 AM



A 2,430-square-foot Dublin house just across the street from the Country Club at Muirfield Village is appraised by Franklin County at $366,400.  

Involved in a foreclosure, the house at 7815 Knickers Court was put up for sale by a trust in October 2009 for $287,500, 22 percent below its appraised price. And there it had sat.  

Its sale closed last week for $215,000, 41 percent less than its tax value, said Joe Armeni, the broker at RE/MAX City Center who sold the house. That’s low even for a house that needed tens of thousands of dollars in work, he said.  

Franklin and Delaware counties probably will lower the tax values of many homes this summer because the two are among the most over-appraised of the 41 Ohio counties that must reappraise properties in 2011.  

“We are anticipating reductions somewhere between 5and 10 percent,” said Delaware County Auditor George Kaitsa.  

Even if you get a reduction in your house’s tax value, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your tax bill will drop. That depends on how your home compares with other properties in your taxing district.  

The median tax value in Franklin County was 102percent – meaning 2 percent higher than what properties sold for in the first six months of 2010. That ranked fourth-highest in an Ohio Department of Taxation study. Delaware County was at 101.7percent, putting it at No. 5.  

Medians that high are almost unprecedented in recent decades. That “makes it entirely appropriate for (those) county auditors to lower appraisals,” said John Kohlstrand, spokesman for the Ohio Department of Taxation. “It shows how soft real-estate values have been in the last three years.”  

Historically, reappraisals increase assessments to keep pace with rising values, with the state prodding auditors to get the medians at least above the 90 percent level.  

“We’ve not seen this, at least in my lifetime,” said Tony Frissora, chief of staff to Franklin County Auditor Clarence Mingo and the former head of the auditor’s real-estate division.  

For one house, 102 percent would mean the appraisal was pretty accurate – a tax value of $102,000 on a house that sold for $100,000, for example.  

But being that high on median means that half of the homes are appraised at more than 102 percent, Kohlstrand said. On a natural bell curve, those at the high end are paying way more than their fair share of taxes.  

That’s why the state generally encourages auditors to get their county medians to between 92 percent and 94percent, to lessen the likelihood that properties are appraised too high, Kohlstrand said.  

The gap between sale prices and appraisals is simply a reflection of the downturn in the real-estate market, and that changing market is why counties do reappraisals, Mingo said.  

“The reappraisal is the remedy,” he said.  

Then-Franklin County Auditor Joe Testa decided in 2008 to forgo a neighborhood-by-neighborhood update. Mingo doesn’t think that resulted in appraisals being more incorrect today, because the market downturn was just beginning.  

Testa will take over the Department of Taxation in January, appointed by Gov.-elect John Kasich.  

Delaware County’s condos and high-end homes have been hit hardest in the downturn, Kaitsa said. Generally, homes that sold in the past for more than $750,000 have seen declines of 20 to 30percent.  

Similarly in Franklin County, “high-end homes over the past couple years were not selling,” Frissora said. He said those sales have been hurt because “jumbo loans” are less available today.  

Even if you were lucky enough that your property value has remained the same, your tax bill could be higher if other properties in your taxing district have fallen in value. The reappraisal process will shift the burden.  

Cities, school districts and other recipients of property taxes generally are guaranteed the same total, regardless of rising or falling tax values. Ohio’s “reduction factor” was designed to keep tax bills in check as property values rise, but now it will do the opposite: raise millage as total appraisals fall.  


Owners winning requests for tax cuts

September 9th, 2010

In a recent article for the Columbus Dispatch, Barbara Carmen reports that although the number of tax appeal submissions has trippled since 2008, 94% of those appeals are being approved. That means that 94% of those homeowners were paying too much in taxes. What are the chances you are in the same situation? You can read the full article on the Columbus Dispatch’s website.

Wood County

June 26th, 2010

Welcome Wood County Homeowners!

Named in honor of a hero from the War of 1812, beautiful Wood County was the site of Fort Meigs, which was built to protect the area from invasion by the British from the north. 77% of the county is still considered ‘cultivated’ land, and the county is Ohio’s number one wheat producer, second in tomato production.  Since 1990, many residents have relocated to the county from neighboring Lucas County to escape the urban problems of Toledo. For this reason, during the decade of the 90’s, the counties’ population expanded by 6.9%, although many Wood County residents, not employed in the agriculture sector, still find work in Toledo.


 Wood County

Founded: April 1, 1820  

Area: 617.4 sq mi

Named for: Colonel E.E. Wood, War of 1812

County Seat: Bowling Green City, Ohio

Wood County Profile (from Ohio.gov)

Wood County Official Site

Fun Fact:  In 1886, oil was discovered in North Baltimore (near Bowling Green) which flooded the region with people, new business ventures, and money.  Several of the opulent homes constructed with the oil wealth are still standing, including one which is purported to be the most haunted in the state; unfortunately, the current owners threaten legal action against any publication of its location or details of the home’s violent history. However, a stretch of nearby Euler Road (between Wingston and Potter roads), southwest of Bowling Green, is said to be haunted by an infant hanged by its mother from a tree branch.       

People of note from County: Donalee L. Tabern- inventor; Mark G. Wasylyshyn- current Sheriff;  

Cities: Bowling Green, Fostoria, Northwood, Perrysburg, Rossford

Villages:  Bairdstown, Bloomdale, Bradner, Custar, Cygnet, Haskins, Jerry City, Luckey,  Millbury, Milton Center, North Baltimore, Pemberville, Portage, Risingsun, Tontogany, Wayne, West Millgrove, Weston.

Townships: Bloom, Center, Henry, Lake, Liberty, Middleton, Milton, Plain, Webster.

Other communities: Bates, Ducat, Lime City, Scotch Ridge, Trombley, Woodside.

Williams County

June 25th, 2010

Welcome Williams County Homeowners!

Williams County offers an interesting mix of farmers, working class and people pursing an advanced education. OSU opened an extension in Williams county focusing on Agricultural advancements. Williams County has its own Agriculture Blog and is the home of many companies which have developed many notable products.


Williams county

State map highlighting Williams CountyFounded: April 1, 1820  

Area: 421.74 sq mi

Named for:   David Williams (1754-1831), captor of spy John André during the Revolutionary War           

County Seat: Bryan, Ohio

Williams County Profile (from Ohio.gov)      

Williams County Official Site

Fun Fact:  Bryan is home to several companies whose products are far reaching: Ohio Art, maker of the Etch-A-Sketch and Betty Spaghetty toys, and Spangler Candy Company, makers of Dum Dum Pops and among the largest makers of candy canes in the world.

People of note from County: Bob Hartman - Guitarist and founder of the pioneer Christian Rock Band Petra, Margaret A. Goodell - Discovered a novel method to isolate adult stem cells. Founding member and director of the Star Center at Baylor College of Medicine, Sam Hornish, Jr. Former IRL driver and current NASCAR driver, Morry Hummel – Founder of Hummel Aviation and designer of the Hummel Bird aircraft, Ned Garver - Former Major League Baseball player from 1948–1961, William Isaac - Former Chairman of the Federal from 1981 to 1985 and frequent commentator on financial regulatory matters.

Major Employers:  Allied Moulded Products Inc, Community Hospitals, Ingersoll-Rand Co, ITW/Tomco, Plastics, Kumi Kasei/KAMCO industries, Letts Industries/Powers & Sons, Midwest Stamping Co, Ohio Art Co, Spangler Candy Co, Titan Tire Corp

Cities: Bryan

Villages: Blakeslee, Edgerton, Edon, Holiday City, Montpelier, Pioneer, Stryker, West Unity

Townships: Brady, Bridgewater, Center, Florence, Jefferson, Madison, Mill Creek, Northwest, Pulaski, St. Joseph, Springfield, Superior

Other communities:

Ainger, Alvordton, Berlin, Bridgewater Center, Columbia, Cooney, Franklin Junction, Hallock, Hamer, Hillcrest, Kunkle, Lock Port, Melbern, Mina, Nettle Lake, West Jefferson, Williams Center

Portage County

June 6th, 2010

Welcome  Portage County Homeowners!

“From its gently rolling pastures, to its industrial parks and city centers, Portage County has something to offer everyone.” Home of Kent State University, there is an interesting mix of rural and urban communities. “Portage County’s growing business base now hosts a range of industry producing an array of products, from toys to lamp bulbs to aircraft components.” (co.portage.oh.us) 


Portage county

State map highlighting Portage CountyFounded: June 7, 1807                         

Area: 492.39 sq mi

Named for: Derived from an Indian portage             

County Seat: Ravenna, Ohio

Portage County Profile (from Ohio.gov)      

Portage County Official Site

Fun Fact: In 1942, the US government chose Windham as the site of an army camp for workers at the newly-built Ravenna Arsenal. As a result, Windham experienced the largest increase in population of any municipality in the United States between the 1940 and 1950 censuses: The population increased from 316 residents to 3,946.

People of note from County: Anne Heche – actress, Eddie Morgan, former Major League Baseball player. Athletes include football players Antonio Gates, Joshua Cribbs, and Jack Lambert; Major League Baseball players Thurman Munson, Rich Rollins, and Andy Sonnanstine; and college football coaches Nick Saban and Lou Holtz. Comedians Drew Carey and Arsenio Hall, actor Michael Keaton, musician Joe Walsh, and additional members of the band Devo attended and spent time at Kent State University. Chris Bangle; automobile designer, David D. Busch; best-selling author, William Rufus Day; U.S. Supreme Court justice, Calvin Hampton; Classical organist, Al Hodge; actor in films such as Captain Video and The Green Hornet and producer of The Lone Ranger radio program, Maynard James Keenan; singer for Tool, A Perfect Circle, and Puscifer, Marvin Kent; politician and businessman, namesake for neighboring city of Kent, Peggy King; singer and television personality, Don Nottingham; pro football player, Henry Adoniram Swift; third governor of Minnesota, Erastus B. Tyler; Union general in the American Civil War, Jeffrey Harold West; pro football kicker, Don M. Wilson III; former Chief Risk Officer at JP Morgan Chase Bank 

Major Employers: East Manufacturing Corp, General Electric Co, Kent City Board of Education, Kent State University, McMaster-Carr Supply Co, Ravenna City Bd of Ed, Robinson Memorial Hospital, State of Ohio, Step2 Company

Cities: Aurora, Kent, Ravenna, Streetsboro

Villages: Brady Lake, Garrettsville, Hiram, Mantua, Mogadore, Sugar Bush Knolls, Windham

Townships: Atwater, Brimfield, Charlestown, Deerfield, Edinburg, Franklin, Freedom, Hiram, Mantua, Nelson, Palmyra, Paris, Randolph, Ravenna, Rootstown, Shalersville, Suffield, Windham

Other communities: Diamond, Wayland, Brimfield

Pickaway County

June 4th, 2010

Welcome Pickaway County Homeowners!

        From pumpkins to the paranormal, Pickaway County has it all! The county is proudly celebrating its bicentennal with a variety of festivals and events throughout the county. From their Visitor’s guide:

         In 2010, Pickaway County and Circleville will celebrate in a variety of ways, including a special “Bicentennial Parade” the night before the official opening of the Circleville Pumpkin Show. Other activities scheduled will be a re-enactment of the first murder trial in Pickaway County, and historic guided walking tours of historic downtown Circleville. Many of the yearly festivals and events listed in this guide will have a Bicentennial theme for 2010. For updated information, please contact the Pickaway County Welcome Center at 888.770.7425  


 Pickaway county

State map highlighting Pickaway CountyFounded: March 1, 1810                                 

Area: 501.91 sq mi 

Named for:  A misspelling of the Piqua tribe, a branch of the Shawnee
A variant of a Native American word “Piqua”          

County Seat: Circleville

 Pickaway County Profile (from Ohio.gov)      

 Pickaway County Official Site and Links

Fun Fact: County Motto: “The Pick of Ohio.”

 People of note from Pickaway County: Frederick Burr Opper (cartoonist, creator of Happy Hooligan), Susan Perkins (Miss America 1978), Caleb Atwater (“Father of Ohio’s Public School System”), Benjamin Hanby (composer), Ted Lewis (“the Jazz King” – musician and entertainer)

Major Employers : ALSCO Metals Corp, Berger Health System, Circleville City Bd of Ed, E I du Pont de Nemours & Co, General Electric Co, Logan Elm Local Bd of Ed, PPG Industries Inc, State of Ohio, Teays Valley Local Bd of Ed, Wal-Mart Stores Inc

Cities: Circleville

Villages: Ashville, Commercial Point, Darbyville, Harrisburg,New Holland, Orient, South Bloomfield, Tarlton, Williamsport

Townships: Circleville, Darby, Deer Creek, Harrison, Jackson, Madison, Monroe, Muhlenberg, Perry, Pickaway, Salt Creek, Scioto, Walnut, Washington, Wayne

Census-designated places: Logan Elm Village

Other communities: Derby

Ottawa County

June 1st, 2010

Welcome Ottawa County Homeowners!

Ottawa county is probably best known for Put-in-Bay, and its many attractions. The small island boasts an array of activities, historical homes, the oldest lighthouse in Ohio, and the 3rd tallest US monument. Ottawa county has a rich history, and is where Admiral Perry reported the famous words: “”We have met the enemy and they are ours…” to General Harrison.  

  Ottawa county

State map highlighting Ottawa CountyFounded: March 6, 1840

Area: 254.95 sq mi

Named for:  the Ottawa Indians; Ottawa means “trader” in their language

County Seat: Port Clinton, Ohio

Ottawa County Profile (from Ohio.gov)      

Ottawa County Official Site

Fun Fact: The Crystal Cave is a limestone cave located in Put-in-Bay, with walls that display large crystals. It is also the world’s largest known geode.

People of note from  Ottowa County: Louis C. ShepardAmerican Civil War Medal of Honor recipient from Ashtabula County, Crystal BowersoxAmerican Idol contestant, Steve Saunders – Television host/actor, Chris Redfern - Current chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party, and former Ohio House Minority Leader.

Major Employers :



Benton-Carroll-Salem Local Bd of Ed, Brush Wellman Inc, FirstEnergy Corp, Luther Home of Mercy, Magruder Hospitalm Ottawa County Government, Port Clinton City Bd of Ed, Silgan Holdings Inc, USG Corp/US Gypsup Co

Cities: Port Clinton

Villages: Clay Center, Elmore, Genoa, Marblehead, Oak Harbor, Put-in-Bay, Rocky Ridge

Montogmery County

May 27th, 2010

Welcome Montogomery County Homeowners!

 Watch this space for more information about Montogomery County!


 Montogomery County

Founded:   May 1, 1803

Area: 461.68 sq mi

Named for:  General Richard Montgomery (1738-1775), a Revolutionary War officer

County Seat: Dayton

Montogomery County Profile (from Ohio.gov)      

Montogomery County Official Site

Fun Fact:  1790 Big Bottom was the first community established in Morgan County. Sadly, 12 settlers were killed there in an altercation with the Native American population. The event is known as the Big Bottom Massacre.

Fun Fact’s can be found  in Alicia Adams and Lisa Wojina’s Bathroom Book of Ohio Trivia; Weird, Wacky, and Wild.