October 2019 Newsletter

Franklin County OH Auditor

October 2019 Newsletter

Housing Fair

Your Auditor’s office began the month of October by tackling an issue that is a growing concern for our community: Affordable Housing.

To help address the issue we held an Affordable Housing Fair on Oct. 1 in collaboration with local housing organizations and agencies, including the Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority, Homeport, MORPC, Habitat for Humanity, the Columbus Urban League, the Franklin County Office on Aging, and many more. We plan to hold more of these housing fairs across Franklin County in the coming months.   

Our goal is to connect people with resources and programs that addressed topics like home repair and maintenance, information for first-time homebuyers, down payment assistance program information, appliance repair or replacement programs, senior assistance programs, winterization programs, and help with utilities.

As part of the event the Auditor’s office produced a report that showed the ongoing challenges for residents seeking affordable housing. It details down to specific census tracts items like housing costs and income, housing costs by proportion of income, amount of vacant properties, and rental versus owner occupied homes. The report also lists resources that can help residents with affordable housing. You can view the report on our website.  

With the boom in construction happening across central Ohio, it’s important that we don’t leave behind a large segment of society that increasingly can’t afford available housing. At the Auditor’s office, we are trying to help by ensuring residents take advantage of tax-reducing programs like the Homestead Exemption and the Owner-Occupied credit.   

Affordable housing is a key to making Franklin County the very best place to live and work and it is a priority for me. I look forward to continuing to find ways to help residents with resources and information on housing that will fit their budgets and accommodate their needs. As always, if I can ever be of help to you, feel free to email me at AuditorStinziano@franklincountyohio.gov or call me at 614-525-HOME.   


Michael Signature

Fee Elimination

Auditor Stinziano Eliminates Name Change Fee

Auditor Stinziano and Franklin County Recorder Danny O’Connor have eliminated the fee to change names on property records. The change eliminates a $0.50 fee that had been charged to reflect name changes, many of them because of marriage or divorce. In eliminating the fee, Stinziano hopes to reduce red tape and streamline the name change process.

An estimated 260 people change their names on real estate documents annually, about 80 percent of whom are women. 

To use the Levy Estimator, a homeowner just enters their address or parcel number and the estimator will calculate both the current costs of levies and the estimated costs of proposed levies and ballot issues.

The Levy Estimator can be found at apps.franklincountyauditor.com/LevyEstimator.


Levy Estimator

Levy Estimator Updated For 2019 General Election

With the November general election upon us, the Auditor’s office Levy Estimator application has been updated with information to allow homeowners to see how issues on their ballot will affect their taxes. 

Levies and bond issues are on the ballot in several jurisdictions across the county, including: Bexley, Groveport Madison, Hamilton Township, Mifflin Township, Perry Township, Westerville. Voters in these municipalities received information regarding the Levy Estimator this month.

Franklin County Children Services also has a county-wide levy on the ballot. Election Day is November 5, 2019. 

“As the former Director of the Board of Elections, I encourage everyone to be an informed voter and know how ballot issues will affect you,” Stinziano said.

To use the Levy Estimator, a homeowner just enters their address or parcel number and the estimator will calculate both the current costs of levies and the estimated costs of proposed levies and ballot issues.

The Levy Estimator can be found at apps.franklincountyauditor.com/LevyEstimator.

Smith Farm

October True Transaction Award Presented  to Smith Farm Market

Smith Farm Market won the October True Transactions Award for its stellar record of using accurate scales and scanners at the southeastern Columbus store.

“Congratulations to the Smith Farm Market team for their excellent record of using accurate scales and scanners in selling their high-quality foods,” Stinziano said. “Smith’s ensures that its customers are getting what they pay for, a trait of a great local business.” 

Smith Family Market was founded by fourth-generation farmer Lot Smith in 1973 near his family farm in Columbus. Since then the market has expanded and now sells produce, baked goods, jams, flowers, and other local foods. It was bought in 2011 by Julie, Tom and Scott Witten who continue to run the market.  As a winner Smith Farm Market received a framed certificate from Stinziano acknowledging the achievement.



Weights & Measures Helps Determine Biggest Pumpkin at Oakland Nursery

It’s nearly Halloween, and that means pumpkins – and pumpkin weigh-offs. 

Auditor’s office Weights and Measures staff were on hand at Oakland Nurseries’ Dublin Garden Center Sunday, Oct. 13 to ensure the accuracy of scales used to weigh the orange (and white) behemoths. Good news: the scales were accurate. The winner of the weigh-off? A Michigan-grown white pumpkin beauty that weighed in at 2,118 lbs. (see photo below) The first place entry won a $5,000 grand prize from the nursery.

Auditor Stinziano is the Sealer of Weights and Measures in Franklin County and is responsible for the enforcement of all state laws regarding weights and measures.

Comm Hours

Community Hours

Franklin County Auditor Michael Stinziano continues to hold weekly Community Hours meetings where residents can stop by and visit and share firsthand their feedback and ideas about the auditor’s office or any concerns they have.

The meetings continue a practice Stinziano has done since he was first elected to office. Community Hours will be held at the dates and locations listed below.

Monday, Nov. 4th 4:00pm-5:30pm

Bexley Public Library (2411 E. Main St., Columbus, OH 43209)

Saturday, November 16th 10:00am – 11:30am

Prairie Township Community Center (5955 W. Broad St. Galloway, OH 43119)

Thursday, November 21st 5:00pm-6:30pm

5 Bean Coffee (2087 Baltimore-Reynoldsburg Rd. Suite A, Reynoldsburg, OH 43068)

Monday, November 25th 4:30pm – 6:00pm

Far East Neighborhood Pride Center (2500 Park Crescent Dr., Columbus, OH 43232)

Auditor Stinziano Announces 2019 Me and My Pal Drawing Contest

The Auditor’s office is kicking off the 2019 Me and My Pal drawing contest to promote responsible pet ownership and to remind dog owners of the upcoming license renewal season that begins Dec. 1.

Children from kindergarten through 6th grade are invited to send a drawing of them with their favorite canine friend. Drawings should include both the artist and the dog, which must be currently licensed and immunized. Winners will be selected by a panel and notified by Nov. 29. 

The first place winner will receive the first dog tag issued in 2020, and will have their drawing featured in Auditor’s office promotional materials. All winning artists will receive an award certificate and will have their photo taken with Auditor Stinziano.

The winners will then be celebrated in a ceremony at the Franklin County Dog Shelter on Saturday, Dec. 7. For more information on the contest, visit the Auditor’s office website.

Your Auditor’s office in the news

The Auditor’s office has been featured in several media outlets over the past month. Among the headlines: 

Stocks & Jocks -The Obie Stillwell Show (98.5FM, 10/12/19)

Editorial: Fields of concrete corn, snow amid record heat and our own goof (Dispatch, 10/7/19)

Franklin County eliminates fee for name changes on property records (Dispatch, 10/3/19)

Franklin County auditor site provides new real estate sales data (Dispatch, 10/2/19)

Everyday heroes honored for lifting up central Ohio (Dispatch, 10/2/19)

Franklin County Auditor Helping Farmers Hurt By Rainy Weather (WOSU Radio, 9/30/19)

Franklin County auditor cuts red tape for farmers hurt by heavy rains (Dispatch, 9/30/19)