Taylor Releases Clark County Audit

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Clark County -

Auditor of State Mary Taylor today released the audit of Clark County for fiscal year 2007. The audit reveals that the Clark County Auditor’s office violated Ohio law by making certain changes to property tax bills.

“Altering property tax documents and changing property values without proper approval and oversight is a serious issue,” Taylor said. “We have notified the Ohio Department of Taxation about the issue and my office will continue to monitor the situation in future audit reports.”

The report finds that 64 percent of the property tax bills auditors reviewed were changed without proper approval of the Clark County Board of Revision as required by state law.

For instance, changes to tax bills due to “fundamental errors” – such as the inaccurate assessment of individual property values – require the approval of the Clark County Board of Revision. Other changes to property tax values due to simple clerical errors do not.

The report also indicates that some documents identifying property tax values and subsequent changes were missing. Removing or destroying these records violates Ohio’s public records laws.

Taylor is referring these issues to the Ohio Department of Taxation for further review.

Separately, the audit identifies $1,835.07 that a former employee of the Clark County Auditor’s office improperly billed for mileage reimbursement and unearned compensatory time. Those funds were repaid prior to the release of the audit report.

A copy of the complete audit is available online at www.auditor.state.oh.us.