Ohio Revised Code 5311.11 prohibits counties from charging property taxes on common elements. When a developer files a declaration, the original parcel number for the land is supposed to be vacated and replaced with the parcel numbers for the individual units located on the land. The reasoning is that collectively the unit owners own 100% of the common elements, as tenants in common. Each owner's percentage interest in these parcels are appurtenant to their condominium unit and cannot be separately conveyed. The percentage of interest in the common elements for a particular unit is already calculated into the valuation for that unit. Therefore, when an owner pays the property taxes for their unit, they are also paying their percentage of the tax for the common elements appurtenant to that unit. If the County were to charge the association a tax on the common elements, the result would be double taxation.
Most counties in Ohio follow this standard procedure regularly. However, all too frequently a board will discover an error where the underlying common element parcel is never eliminated and either the developer or the association is listed as the owner of the parcel. This is obviously inaccurate as the owners own the common elements together as tenants in common, not the developer or the condominium association. This error often results in the condominium association receiving property tax bills. If you believe your condominium association is being improperly taxed, our office can assist in effectively communicating the error to your county auditor.