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    New procedure for renewing real estate tax exemption for community school property

    Community schools should be aware of a new procedure and annual December 31 filing deadline for renewing an existing exemption from real property taxation for community school property.

    House Bill 166, which was enacted as part of this year’s budget bill, established a new procedure that community schools must follow to renew any existing exemption granted under R.C. 5709.07(A)(1) for community school property. Under the new R.C. 5715.27(I), a renewal statement must be filed with the Ohio Tax Commissioner each year attesting that, as of January 1, the property continued to be used for qualifying purposes.

    The renewal statement must be filed on or before December 31 each year, beginning with the year following the year for which the Tax Commissioner granted exemption. Importantly, if no renewal statement is filed, or if the Tax Commissioner otherwise determines that the property no longer qualifies for exemption, the Tax Commissioner must return the property to the taxable list.

    Interestingly, the new rule does not expressly require STEM schools, educational service centers or other schools that may also qualify for exemption under R.C. 5709.07(A)(1) to follow this new procedure. Schools should review their tax bills annually to determine if all or any portion of the properties they own or use may have been returned to the tax list or otherwise qualify for exemption under Ohio law.

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