Agricultural & CAUV
Agricultural District

Information for Placement of Farmland in an Agricultural District

WHO MAY FILE? Any owner of land used for agricultural production may file an application to have the land placed in an agricultural district.


The completed application must be filed with the auditor of the county where the land is located. The applicant will be notified of action taker by the county auditor within 30 days of the filing of the application if the land is not within a municipal corporation or an annexation petition has not been filed. If the land for which an application has been made lies within a municipal corporation limit or if an annexation petition that includes the land has been filed with the Board of County Commissioners under Section 709.02 of the Ohio Revised Code, a copy of the application must also be filed with the Clerk of the legislative body of the municipal corporation. The legislative body is required to conduct a public hearing on the application within 30 days after the application has been filed with the Clerk. Within 30 days of the hearing, the legislative body may approve the application, modify and approve the application as modified, or reject the application.


The original application may be filed at any time for placement of land in an agricultural district for a five-year period. If at the end of five years, the owner decides to keep some or all of his or her land in a district, he or she shall submit a renewal application and must meet the same land requirements and use the same application process as the original application. The renewal application may be filed at any time after the first Monday in January and prior to the first Monday in March of the year during which an agricultural district terminates, for a period of time ending on the first Monday in April of the fifth year following the renewal application.


In accordance with Section 929.01(A) of the Revised Code, land is devoted to "agricultural production" when it is used for commercial aquaculture, apiculture, animal husbandry, poultry husbandry; the production for a commercial purpose of field crops, tobacco, fruits, vegetables, timber, nursery stock, ornamental shrubs, ornamental trees; flowers or sod; the growth of timber for a noncommercial purpose if the land on which the timber is grown is contiguous to or part of a parcel of land under common ownership that is otherwise devoted exclusively to agricultural use; or any combination of such husbandry, production, or growth; and includes the processing, drying, storage and marketing of agricultural products when those activities are conducted in conjunction with such husbandry, production, or growth.

"Agricultural production" includes conservation practices provided that the tracts, lots, or parcels of the land or portions thereof that are used for conservation practices comprise not more than twenty-five percent of tracts, lots, or parcels of land that are otherwise devoted exclusively to agricultural use and for which an application is filed.

"Conservation practices" are practices used to abate soil erosion as required in the management of the farming operation, and include, but are not limited to, the installation, construction, development, planting, or use of grass waterways, terraces, diversions, filter strips, field borders, windbreaks, riparian buffers, wetlands, ponds, and cover crops for that purpose.


Tracts, lots, or parcels mean distinct portions of pieces of land (not necessarily contiguous) where the title is held by one owner, as listed on the tax list and duplicate of the county, is in agricultural production and conforms with the requirements of either 1, 2, or 3 below.


  1. The land for which the application is made must have been used exclusively for agricultural production or devoted to and qualified for payments or other compensation under a land retirement or conservation program under an agreement with a federal agency for the three consecutive calendar years prior to the year in which application is made. Evidence must be shown on the application. If the land contains timber which is not being grown for commercial purposes the land on which the timber is growing must be contiguous to or part of a parcel under common ownership that is otherwise devoted exclusively to agricultural use.
  2. If the total amount of land for which application is made is less than 10 acres, there is an additional requirement that the applicant submit evidence with his application that the activities conducted on the land have produced an average yearly gross income of at least twenty-five hundred dollars over the three years immediately preceding the year in which application is made or that the land will produce an anticipated annual gross income of that amount.
  3. Evidence of annual gross income may be satisfied by attaching to the application form a short statement stating the number of animals by species and anticipated market value, number of acres of crops to be grown, their expected yield and price per bushel or similar specific information.


Land removed from this program before the 5-year enrollment period is subject to penalty, per Section 929.02(D) of the Ohio Revised Code. See County Auditor's Office for details on how the amount of the withdrawal penalty is determined.


The applicant may appeal the denial of the application to the court of common pleas of the county in which the application was filed within thirty days of the receipt of the notice denying the application. When the land lies within a municipality the applicant may also appeal a decision to modify or reject an application to the court of common pleas of the county in which the application was filed within thirty days of the receipt of the notice of modification or rejection. In addition, the applicant may withdraw an application modified by a legislative body if he or she disapproves of the modifications.

CAUV Eligibility

Current Agricultural Use Value (CAUV) Eligibility

Related resources:

For land to qualify for agricultural use valuation, the property must be devoted exclusively to agricultural use for the three calendar years prior to the year-end of filing the application:

  • Property must Total not less than Ten Acres, or
  • If less than Ten Acres it must produce an Average Yearly Gross Income of at least twenty-five hundred dollars ($2,500), or evidence of anticipated income of that amount, or
  • It must be devoted to, and qualified for, payments (or other compensation) under a land retirement or conservation program under an agreement with a federal government agency.

Land converted from agricultural use is subject to a recoupment charge equal to the amount of the tax savings on the converted land during the three years immediately preceding the year in which the conversion occurs.

For more details please refer to 5713.30 of the Ohio Revised Code or call the County Auditor's Office at: 937-547-7308

CAUV Table
Forest Land Eligibility

For land to be certified by the Chief of the Division of Forestry as eligible for this program, it must consist of ten contiguous acres of forest trees, and be no less than 125 feet wide and accessible for management and meet the definition for the forest land specified in Rule 1501:3-10-01 of the Administrative Code:

"Forest Land" means land for which the primary purpose is growing, managing and harvesting of a forest crop of commercial species under accepted agricultural systems through natural or artificial reforestation methods and for which there is an approved forest management plan. The forest land shall consist of a stand or stands of commercial species for forest trees which contain at least fifty square feet of basal area or at least three hundred stems per acre which shall be evenly distributed throughout the stand.

For more information, please refer to 5713.22 of the Ohio Revised Code, or contact the Division of Forestry at 440.632.5299, or the Auditor's Office at 937-547-7317

Ohio Society of American Foresters

1933 E. Dublin-Granville Rd., #327

Columbus, OH 43229

Consulting Foresters and Technicians

Industry Foresters and Technicians

Auditors in History
Auditors in History

Auditor's serving Darke County Since 1821:

Name Beginning Year Ending Year Appointed/Elected
James Devor 1821 1822 Appointed
H. D. Williams 1822 1824 Appointed
John Craig 1824 1830 Elected
John Beers 1825 1830 Appointed
David Cole 1830 1832 Appointed
Hiram Bellows 1832 1836 Elected
David Angel 1836 1837 Appointed
John McIlthanney 1837 1837 Elected
Commodre C. Craig 1837 1840 Appointed
William M. Wilson 1840 1846 Elected
John L. Winner 1846 1847 Appointed
David Stamm 1847 1848 Elected
F. Gram 1848 1849 Appointed
A. R. Doty 1849 1849 Appointed
A. L. Northrop 1849 1852 Elected
George W. Coover 1852 1854 Elected
Joseph C. Shepherd 1854 1857 Elected
Dr. John E. Matchett 1857 1861 Elected
D. B. Clews 1861 1865 Elected
E. H. Wright 1865 1867 Elected
O. C. Perry 1867 1871 Elected
John D. Matchett 1871 1873 Elected
W. J. Kelly 1873 1879 Elected
John C. Turpen 1879 1883 Elected
Cyrus Minnich 1883 1891 Elected
Louis C. Klipstine 1891 1895 Elected
George Sigafoos 1895 1899 Elected
J. W. Ditman 1899 1899 Appointed
Ed Culbertson 1899 1903 Elected
Frank Snyder 1903 1911 Elected
John L. Morgan 1911 1915 Elected
George H. Garrison 1915 1919 Elected
Auditor Unknown 1920 1927 Elected
E. A. Goubeaux 1927 1931 Elected
L. W. Wertenbaker 1931 1939 Elected
Howard E. Taylor 1939 1943 Elected
Harry F. Mikesell 1943 1959 Elected
Charles R. Fowble 1959 1963 Elected
Norma Fae Knick 1963 1994 Elected
Janice P. Anderson 1994 2007 Elected
Carol Ginn 2007 Present Elected
Board of Revision
Board of Revision

General Overview

Board of Revision Membership

The Darke County Board of Revision consists of three statutory members: the County Auditor, the County Treasurer, and the Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners. The statutory members may appoint representatives to serve with them or in their stead as needed to carry out the business of the Board.

BOR Responsibilities and Scope of Authority

The Board of Revision exists to assure the equitable administration of Real Estate taxes within the County. Pursuant to that responsibility, the Board is authorized to consider and recommend settlement of certain matters regarding real estate valuations, disputed applications for various special benefits relating to real estate taxation, interest or penalties on late payment of taxes, etc.

The Board is NOT authorized to consider such matters as the tax rate in a given district, percentage of increase of taxes, the CAUV valuation formula, or the amount of a tax bill.

Factors Affecting Your Tax Bill

Current year tax bills reflect values established by the Auditor as-of January 1st of the previous calendar year. Physical changes to the property such as an addition or demolition of a structure during the previous year will normally cause a parcel’s value to rise or fall accordingly. Also, the amount of your tax bill can be affected by new, adjusted, or expired tax levies, or by an overall increase or decrease in the total valuation in your taxing district. None of those events alone gives rise to an occasion for filing a BOR complaint.

The most common complaints filed with the Board of Revision by taxpayers are to contest the Auditor’s valuation of a specific parcel.

Forms and Filing Dates

Between January 1 and March 31, 20XX.

To contest your current valuation you must file a complaint form at:

Darke County Auditor

Darke County Courthouse

504 South Broadway

1st Floor

Greenville, OH 45331

Complaint forms and instruction sheets can be obtained by clicking on the appropriate link directly below, by visiting the Auditor’s Office, or by calling (937)-547-7308.

Filing Fees

There is no fee or other charge to file a BOR complaint with your County Auditor.

Complaint Process

To avoid confusion and to help prevent potential invalid filings, it is suggested that individuals contact the Auditor’s Office for a general discussion about a potential BOR complaint before submitting it.

The filing of a complaint is an initiation of a legal proceeding. Please read the instructions relating to the appropriate complaint form and the Board of Revision Rules of Practice and Procedure. An incomplete or flawed application may result in the automatic dismissal of your petition. If you have any legal questions regarding the filing of a complaint, please consult your attorney. It is unlawful for Auditor’s employees to give legal advice.

Generally, the Ohio Revised Code allows only one BOR complaint filing per parcel in a triennial (3 year) period unless the property has been sold or has suffered a significant casualty or income production loss since the previous filing. Once a complaint form has been filed by the owner or his/her attorney and later withdrawn, it will be considered as an official filing for this triennial period.

Proving Your Case

The burden of proof is on the complainant… usually the property owner. Failure to properly make your case could jeopardize your chances for a solution satisfactory to you. Based upon its investigation, the Board of Revision has the authority to increase, decrease or make no change in the valuation of your property.

The Board will determine the fair market value of your property based on the information submitted to them. The Board can consider:

  • Sales of similar properties
  • Independent fee appraisals
  • Itemized professional estimates of cost to repair deficiencies in your property
  • If the property has recently been sold, supporting documentation such as the closing statement and purchase contract
  • If the property is income producing, income and expense statements

Please note that the Board cannot consider the Auditor’s valuation of a neighboring property or other purported similar property as reason to file a claim or to adjust a valuation if there are no recent sales statistics available regarding those specific properties.

Sheriff’s sales, bank sales, short sales, or any other sale where the buyer or seller are under unusual pressure to buy or sell are not considered arms-length sales and will not be considered a valid comparable by the Board of Revision in establishing property values for taxation purposes.

Along with each complaint form, the applicant should file copies of the supporting documents intended to be introduced at any subsequent hearings by the BOR. Also, an updated and completed questionnaire concerning property-related information should be submitted along with each application regarding residential property. Questionnaire forms may be obtained by clicking immediately below or by contacting the Auditor’s Office.

Residential Property Questionnaire

Multiple Parcels

Parcels must be contiguous and/or one economic unit, be in the same taxing district, and have identical ownership to be included on one complaint form. When in doubt, file separate complaints.

Process After Filing

The normal procedure in Darke County upon receipt of a properly filed BOR complaint concerning the value of real property is for the Board and/or its designated representatives to visit the parcel and do a physical inspection of the premises. Photographs will be taken and notations made concerning pertinent items affecting valuation. A comparison will be made between physical property features observed vs. the Auditor’s records or information submitted by the property owner.

Normally, subsequent to the on-site visit and upon consideration of the information on hand, the Board will communicate with the applicant by certified letter. That communication may make an offer concerning a change in valuation (either upward or downward), state that the valuation is not proposed to be changed, or may request additional information.

If a settlement (up, down, or no change) is offered, the applicant will be given the opportunity to accept the Board’s decision or to request a hearing. If a hearing is requested, or no reply received from the complainant within 10 days, a time and place (normally in the Conference Room of the County Administration Building) will be established for a hearing. Notice of such hearing will be mailed to the applicant by certified mail at least 10 days prior to the hearing.

After the hearing or any continuance thereof, the BOR will issue a final opinion of value and will notify the complainant in writing of its decision.

If the complainant property owner continues to be in disagreement and unwilling to accept the Board’s ruling, the taxpayer may appeal to the State Board of Tax Appeals or the local common pleas court. Information on who to contact concerning an appeal to the BTA may be obtained from the Auditor’s office or on the State website at 

Cigarette License

Any person engaging in the wholesale or retail business of trafficking in cigarettes within the state of Ohio is required to have a Cigarette Dealer's License. If cigarettes are being sold in your place of business and you do not have a license or your vending machine does not have one displayed, please contact your local County Auditor’s office at 937-547-7310. Cigarette licenses are to be displayed near the product being sold for easy inspection.

License Fee

A Cigarette Dealer’s License may be obtained at the County Auditor’s Office for a fee of $125.00 for a retail license per location. To obtain a retail cigarette dealer’s license you must also have a Vendor's License. Wholesale cigarette licenses will be issued by the Ohio Department of Taxation Excise Tax Division beginning January 1, 2010. The wholesale license fee is $1,000.00.

License Location

The license does not authorize the licensee to engage in the business of trafficking cigarettes at any place in this state other than that specified by the County Auditor on the License. One license is good for only one location.

Any person who employs the use of a motor vehicle to convey a supply of cigarettes from place to place or for the purpose of offering such cigarettes for sale must obtain a license for each vehicle and in each county in which any such vehicle is used.

In the event that a business moves, or the business is sold, or an individual or partnership incorporates his own business, or a partnership or corporation is dissolved, the cigarette license issued to a dealer prior to the occurrence of any such event may not be used.

License Renewed

Licenses are renewed on or before the fourth Monday in May through the County Auditor's Office.

If you have questions please call the Auditor's Office at 937-547-7310.

Dog Licenses

Ohio State Law requires any dog over the age of three (3) months to have a license within 30 days of ownership. Any license purchased after 30 days of ownership, or renewed after the annual renewal period between December 1 through January 31 must include a penalty equal to the cost of the license. Your dog's license may be purchased at the Auditor's Office Monday through Friday between 8:00 am - 4:00 pm. or at the Darke County Animal Shelter located at 5066 County Home Rd. in Greenville.

2024 Participating Locations to purchase Dog License(s)

View Locations

Tag Fees

Calendar Year 2024

$22.00 Per Dog


$66.00 for a 3 year Dog License

$220.00 for a Permanent Dog License

A duplicate license for a current lost license is only $5.00.

To transfer a current license to a new owner is only $5.00.

Buy License online now!

Late Fees

Ohio Law Requires a Late Fee Equal To The Cost Of The License. There is no provision in the law to waive the fee. If you renew your dog's license after the January 31 Due Date the cost will be as follows:

Calendar Year 2024

$44.00 Per Dog

$220.00 for a Kennel License

Tag Renewals

Ohio Law Requires licenses to be renewed each year between December 1 and January 31.

Current Licenses From Outside Darke County

If you move to Darke County from another county within Ohio we will honor the license until it is expired. However, if you move here from another state you are required to purchase a license immediately upon arrival. If you wait more than 30 days, we are required to charge a penalty equal to the license fee.

Lost Dogs

Having a license tag attached to your dog's collar may help your dog find its way home in the event he becomes lost. Our office may be contacted between the hours of 8:00 am - 4:00 pm, Monday - Friday to help find the owner of a lost dog. The license number is all the Dog Warden needs to identify a dog's owner. However, please remember if the license tag is not attached to your dog's collar it will not help in the event your dog is lost. The law requires each dog to be wearing his tag. A dog can be Seized and Impounded by the Dog Warden if he is over three months old and found not wearing his license tag, per Ohio Revised Code 955.12.

Dogs Restraints

Ohio law specifies that all dogs must be confined to your property or under reasonable control. It is not safe (and not legal) to allow your dog to roam the neighborhood.

Ohio Revised Code

The laws governing dog licensing in the State of Ohio may be found in the Ohio Revised Code (ORC), sections 955.01, 955.05, and 955.26.

If you have any questions, please call the Auditor’s Office at 937-547-7310 or the Darke County Animal Shelter at 937-547-1645. You may also visit the Animal Shelters website at

Scrap Yard License

Before a license is granted or renewed in the County under section 4737.05 to 4737.12 of the Revised Code, the Sheriff of each county shall inspect the scrap yard with his respective jurisdiction to determine if it complies with sections 4737.05 to 4737.12 of the Ohio Revised Code. (Within a municipality this would be by the Chief of Police).

The Sheriff shall submit a written report of such examination to the County Auditor of the county where such scrap yard is located.

The Sheriff for the purpose of these examinations shall have free access to the grounds and buildings used for or proposed to use in the conduct of the scrap yard activity by the applicant or the licensee.

For more information, please call the Darke County Sheriff’s Department at 937-548-3399.

Ohio Revised Code Links:

Vendor's License

Every Ohio retailer (vendor) making taxable retail sales must obtain a vendor’s license, collect sales tax, file tax returns with payment of tax collected and maintain complete records of transactions.

Effective September 6, 2012 H.B. 508 amended Ohio Revised Code 5739.17 to reduce the types of vendor’s licenses to regular (county) and transient. The Department of Taxation will no longer issue service or deliver licenses.

Regular Vendor’s License

Issued by the County Auditor to vendors with a fixed place of business in Ohio. Vendors must have one regular vendor license for each sales location. The application fee is $25.00 with no annual renewal.

Transient Vendor’s License

Issued by the Ohio Department of Taxation to vendors who transport stock of goods to temporary places of business or exhibits in a county where they have no fixed place of business in order to make sales. The application fee is $25.00 with no annual renewal.

Dept of Taxation Vendor Licenses

Is A Vendor's License Transferable?

You must have an active regular vendor’s license for each fixed place of business from which taxable retail sales are made. A regular vendor's license, which is issued by the County Auditor to cover a fixed place of business, may be transferred from one existing business location to another when you move an existing business to a new location within the same county. If the business location is being moved to a different county, a new regular vendor’s license must be obtained from the County Auditor of the different county. A vendor who is moving an existing business to a new location within the same county and wishes to transfer the existing regular vendor’s license must submit a transfer application. These applications can be obtained at the County Auditor’s Office, 937-547-7310, or at the Ohio Department of Taxation, 1-800-282-1782. If approved, the Department of Taxation will update its file, issue a transfer license, and advise the County Auditor. There is no fee for transferring a regular vendor’s license from one location to another within the same county.

Any change in ownership (sole proprietor to partnership, partnership to corporation, corporation to sole proprietor, partnership to sole proprietor, etc) requires a new license.

A change in mailing address does not require a new license.

If you are required to obtain a new vendor’s license due to a change in ownership or location, a final return must be filed within fifteen days of the last day of business under the original vendor's license.

How Do I Cancel A Vendor's License?

If a vendor stops making taxable retail sales, a final return must be filed and all taxes must be paid within 15 days of the final sale. Vendors must complete the space provided on the final return, indicating the last day of business.

Filing Sales Tax Returns Online With The State

Ohio Business Gateway

All Ohio County Tax Rates

If you have questions regarding the transfer of an existing license or the requirement to obtain a new vendor’s license, please call the Ohio Department of Taxation Registration at 1-888-405-4089.

GIS Mapping

GIS describes any information system that integrates, stores, edits, analyzes, shares, and displays geographic information.

GIS mapping in Darke County is not yet available as an interactive map online. However, we do offer some options to provide our services until then.

  • Request maps
  • You will need to include references as to where the area is in Darke County. Examples are as follows:
    • Parcel number(s) (search available on Auditor’s main page)
    • Address(es) in the area
    • Legal descriptions
    • Township, range, sections
  • E-mails are sent out in .jpg format. (Some other formats are available. Please specify.)
  • Print sizes and costs are as follows:
    • 8.5 x 11 with aerial - $1.00
    • 8.5 x 11 without aerial - $0.50
    • 11 x 17 with aerial - $2.50
    • 11 x 17 without aerial - $1.25
    • 17 x 22 with aerial - $5.00
    • 17 x 22 without aerial - $2.50
    • Sizes larger than 8.5x11 are printed on a large scale plotter. These do take much longer to produce.
  • We have orthophotography (top view) from 2012 at 1’ pixel resolution.
  • Basic layers include cartographic layers*.
  • We also offer DVDs at $150.00 with aerial and $75.00 without aerial. If interested please contact us.

All our requests are completed on a first come first served basis. The parcel layers are still under construction. This means your area may or may not have property boundaries. If this is the case, your request will be completed in a timely manner based on difficulty and prior workload. If the time to construct exceeds longer than we expected you will be notified.

If you’ve ordered a print it must be picked up in the Auditor’s office. Our hours are 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Also, please keep in mind we take cash or check only.

*Our parcel boundaries are not survey quality and are for reference only.

Feel free to call about any other information regarding what our GIS department can do for you.

Homestead Exemption
Homestead Exemption

Homestead Tax Reduction

House Bill 59, passed June 27, 2013, and effective September 29, 2013, has made significant changes to who will qualify for the Homestead exemption on a going-forward basis.

Persons who qualified and received the reduction for tax year 2013 (collected in 2014) will be “grandfathered” and will not be affected by the changes. However, new applicants for the 2014 tax year and thereafter will be required to have Ohio adjusted gross income below a certain threshold in order to receive a reduction.

It is hoped that this Q & A page will answer most questions that taxpayers may have on the subject at this time.


Homestead Q & A (Updated as of Jan. 15, 2014)

Q. How do I apply for the Homestead Exemption?

A. You need to file a “Homestead Exemption Application” (Form # DTE 105A) available from the County Auditor or on the Ohio Department of Taxation’s website. For “Disability” applicants only, you also need to file a “Certificate of Disability” (Form # DTE 105E) available from the County Auditor or on the Ohio Department of Taxation’s website. Click on the appropriate form name highlighted above.


Q. When can I file?

A. To receive the homestead exemption you must:

  1. Be a qualifying individual
    • Senior citizen (must be at least age 65 by December 31st of the year for which the exemption is sought)
    • Disabled person (must be permanently and totally disabled on January 1st of the year for which exemption is sought)
    • Surviving Spouse (must have been at least 59 years old on the date of the spouse’s death and must meet all other homestead requirements)
  2. Own and have occupied your home as your principal place of residence on Jan. 1st of the year in which you file the application.
  3. Your total income cannot exceed the amount set by law if you are applying for homestead and did not qualify for the exemption for 2013 (2014 for manufactured homes).

Q. What if I was eligible for the 2019 tax year but have not yet applied?

A. You have until December 31st to file a late application. (Late applications may only be filed for the same residence as the current application.)


Q. What happens if I own two homes?

A. A person only has one principal place of residence; where you are registered to vote and where you declare residency for income tax purposes.


Q. What is the income threshold?

A. Statue calls for maximum income of $30,000 to be indexed each September.  Below are the indexed amounts for years 2021-2023. 

  $34,200 for 2021 Applicants

  $36,100 for 2022 Applicants

  $38,600 for 2023 Applicants


Q. What income is used to determine my eligibility?

A. “Total income” is defined as the adjusted gross income for Ohio income tax purposes (line 3 of Ohio income tax return) of the owner and the owner’s spouse for the year preceding the year for which you are applying.


Q. What if I do not file an Ohio income tax return?

A. Adjusted gross income includes compensation, rents, interest, fees and most other types of total income. Certain Social Security and disability benefits are not included in adjusted gross income. If you are unsure of what income is included, contact your county auditor. You may be required to produce evidence of income.


Q. Will my income be verified by the auditor’s office?

A. The new application form shall contain a statement that signing the application constitutes a delegation of authority by the applicant(s) to both the Ohio tax commissioner and to the county auditor and to their designated agents, individually or in consultation with each other, to examine any tax or financial records relating to the income of the applicant as stated on the application for the purpose of determining eligibility for the exemption or a possible violation of the homestead laws.


Q. If I am currently receiving the Homestead reduction, am I required to provide my income?

A. Any person who received a Homestead reduction for the 2013 tax year (for manufactured homes-2014 tax year) is permanently exempt from the income means testing.


Q. Is my “grandfather” status portable?

A. If a person or person’s surviving spouse moves to another residence in Ohio and that person received the homestead reduction for 2013, that person or the surviving spouse is exempt from means testing for the homestead reduction at the new property. Form # DTE 105G must be filed with the auditor of the new county of residence.


Q. What is the “great grandfather” clause and is it portable?

A. A taxpayer who received a homestead reduction for tax year 2006 will always receive the greater of the reduction calculated for TY 2006 or the reduction under the current program. For manufactured homes, the reference year is tax year 2007. These taxpayers are exempt from means-testing and the reduction is portable.


Q. What types of properties are eligible for the Homestead Exemption?

A. Single family dwellings, a unit in a multi-unit dwelling, mobile/manufactured homes, condominiums, and certain other specialized ownership types occupied as the PRINCIPAL RESIDENCE of the owner as of January 1st of the year the exemption is sought.


Q. Who is considered a homeowner?

A. In general, these individuals are considered owners:

  • an individual named on the deed,
  • a purchaser under a land installment contract,
  • a life tenant under a life estate,
  • a mortgagor (borrower) for an outstanding mortgage,
  • a trustee of a trust with the right to live in the property,
  • a settlor, under a revocable or irrevocable inter vivos trust, holding title to a homestead occupied by the settlor as a right under the trust.


Q. How much will my taxes be reduced by the Homestead Exemption?

A. The benefit for eligible applicants is still a tax credit equal to the amount of tax on $25,000 of the “true value” appraisal of the home. Depending upon the taxing district in which you reside, that would normally result in a savings of $260 to $480 per year ($130 to $240 per half) in Darke County.


Q. Do I need to apply again if I am already receiving the Homestead Exemption on my tax bill?

A. No. Taxpayers already on the program do NOT need to file a new application. The auditor’s office will mail you a Continuing Homestead Exemption Application form (Form # DTE 105B).

If no changes have occurred, you do not have to return this form.

Q. How do I show proof of my age and/or residency?

A. At the discretion of the County Auditor, you may be asked for appropriate I.D. information. Providing false information on that application would be considered a perjury and subject to prosecution. Also, you would be barred from the program for three years thereafter and subject to repayment of any wrongfully claimed benefits plus interest on the benefits improperly received.

Q. How will I know if my application has been approved?

A. For approved applications, the exemption amount and tax reduction will be noted on the tax bill you receive in January of the year following the one in which you make application. If your application is rejected for any reason, you will receive written notification from the County Auditor on or before the first Monday in October. If you wish to appeal the auditor’s denial, you may obtain a form from the County Auditor to do so.

Darke County Auditor’s Office – 504 South Broadway – Greenville, Ohio 45331

Phone: 937-547-7313

Manufactured Homes
Manufactured Homes

Under Ohio law, owners of manufactured homes (house trailers) are responsible to register their homes with the County Auditor for tax purposes. The Auditor's Office assesses each manufactured home. Tax Bills are sent to each owner semi-annually. This tax is distributed back to the local taxing districts in the same manner as the real estate taxes.

Manufactured Home Taxes are Due March 1 and July 31 each year.

Methods of Taxation:

Depreciation Method

This method was used for all manufactured homes prior to January 1, 2000. The sale price of the home is reduced to 80% for furnished or 95% for an unfurnished home. A depreciation of 5% per year is applied to this reduced sales price until the maximum allowed depreciation of 35% for furnished or 50% for unfurnished homes is reached. This depreciated amount is then multiplied by 40% to create the assessed (taxable) value. The assessed value is then multiplied by the full tax rate to determine the amount of annual taxes, which are billed semi-annually. Manufactured homes titled prior to January 1, 2000 may stay on this method, or may choose to change to the new Appraisal method.

Appraisal Method

A Manufactured home purchased after January 1, 2000 will be taxed using the Appraisal method like real estate. The value of the home is multiplied by 35% to create the assessed (taxable) value. This value is then multiplied by the effective tax rate to determine the amount of tax that will be billed semi-annually. These homes are reappraised in the county-wide reappraisal mandated by the state.

Manufactured homes taxed under this method may also be entitled to a 10% rollback, and a 2.5% reduction of the annual taxes.

To Convert to Appraisal Method of Taxation:

Manufactured homes titled prior to January 1, 2000 may choose to convert to the appraisal method. However, you may only convert once. A conversion form available at the Auditor's office must be completed and all taxes must be paid prior to the conversion. All manufactured homes titled after January 1, 2000 are automatically under the appraisal method.

To Convert a Manufactured Home to Permanent Real Estate:

Manufactured Homes titled prior to January 1, 2000 are taxed on a Depreciation Schedule created by the State. Those titled January 1, 2000 or later are taxed "like" real estate. The requirements to convert any Manufactured Home to permanent real estate are:

  • The Land Owner & the Manufactured Home Owner must be the same.
  • All Towing Apparatus (wheels & tongue) must be removed.
  • The Manufactured Home must be placed on a Permanent Foundation below the front line.
  • The Manufactured Home Taxes must be paid in full through the current year.
  • The Original Title must be Surrendered to the Auditor's Office (a memorandum is not acceptable), any Liens must be cancelled. The Auditor's Office will then forward the Title to the Clerk of Courts Auto Title Department with a letter indicating that this manufactured home is now converted to Real Estate. The home will now be appraised as real estate in the county wide reappraisal, and taxes will be billed in the regular real estate billing cycle.

To Transfer a Manufactured Home Title:

  • Darke County Auditor's Office
    • The Auditor's Office must be notified that the Title is Changing Ownership, and must stamp the title before transfer. Titles notarized from January 1, 2000 and later will pay a conveyance fee of $3 per thousand in the Auditor's Office (the Manufactured Home will be Taxes Like Real Estate).
  • Darke County Treasurer's Office
    • The Taxes Must Be Paid in Full (through the current year) in the Treasurer's Office. The Title will be stamped by the Treasurer to show that the taxes are paid.

To Relocate a Manufactured Home:

A relocation notice is required for any manufactured or mobile home that has been subject to taxation and is moved on the public roads from one address to another within Ohio. The relocation permit is obtained from the County Auditor’s Office in the county where the home is located. All manufactured home taxes and a $5.00 fee must be paid before issuance of the permit.

The relocation notice is a one foot square yellow sign. It contains the name of the homeowner, the registration or serial number, and the address and county to which the home is being moved. It must be attached to the rear of the home when it is being moved on the public roads.

If the County Auditor determines that a manufactured home has been moved without a relocation notice as required, a penalty of $100 will be imposed upon the owner of the home and upon the person who moved the home. If the penalty on the owner is unpaid, the penalty constitutes a lien on the home and will be added to the manufactured home tax duplicate for collection. ORC 4503.061 (H)

If you have questions please call the Auditor's Office at: 937-547-7311.

History of Changes:

  • 1925 - Tax enacted
  • 1963 - Distinction drawn between taxes levied on furnished and unfurnished trailers
  • 1969 - Depreciation schedule allowances on assessed values were enacted
  • 1980 - Collection of taxes owed required prior to a transfer of a certificate of title
  • 1984 - Renamed "House Trailers" to "Manufactured Homes"
  • 1986 - Homestead exemption for certain manufactured home owners enacted, effective tax year 1988
  • 1995 - The limit of each homestead exemption income bracket increased by $4,300 beginning in tax year 1996
  • 1999 - Reduced transfer tax rates for those real or manufactured home owners who received the homestead exemption
  • 2000 - Manufactured homes purchased after Jan 1 are taxed like real property (An owner of a home purchased prior to January 1, 2000 has the option of converting to this new taxation method)
  • 2007 - Homestead exemption no longer based on income levels is available to home owners based on age and home ownership (see homestead page for more homestead qualification details)

Homestead Exemption Information

Owner Occupied Credit
Owner Occupied Credit

Every property owner who resides in their own property is eligible for an owner-occupied 2 ½% reduction on their property tax bill. Homeowners must make application for this reduction. This is often taken care of at time of transfer of real estate. To receive the owner-occupied (2 ½%) tax reduction, you must own and occupy your home as your principal place of residence (domicile) on January 1 of the year you file for the reduction. A homeowner and spouse are entitled to this homestead tax reduction on only one home. The calculation is based on the Dwelling and up to one acre of land.

Application for Owner-Occupancy Tax Reduction

If you have further questions please call our office at: 937-547-7311.

Real Estate
Home Energy Assistance

The Ohio Department of Development web site has Applications for their Home Energy Assistance Programs.

Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) is designed to help eligible low income Ohioans meet the high costs of home heating.

Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP) is an extended payment arrangement that requires gas and electric companies to accept payments based on a percentage of the household income.

For local assistance on eligibility for any of these programs please call

Property Fraud Alert

Be Informed....Be Alert....Be Notified

Property Fraud What is it?

When someone illegally uses your property for financial gain.

Property Fraud How does it happen?

Someone records a fraudulent document in the county land records office, making it look like they own your home or property.

Property Fraud What can I do about it?

Your county land recorders office has teamed up to create a notification service called Property Fraud Alert.

Protect your property from FRAUD.  This is a free service, sign up at or by calling the Property Fraud Alert Hotline at 1-800-728-3858.

For Further details, contact the Darke County Recorder's Office at 937-547-7390.

Real Estate Property
Real Estate Property

The County Auditor is mandated by the State to conduct a comprehensive county-wide reappraisal of real estate properties every six years to establish property values for tax purposes, using a uniform approach that produces a fair estimate of what the property would sell for on the open market. There are many things which influence the market value of a property besides comparable sales, such as interest rates, cost of land acquisition, construction and material costs, etc.

On the third year between the six-year reappraisal cycle the state issues to the county auditor percentage updates for property values based upon the current sales amounts in any given area of the county.

Methods of Taxation:

  • After the Market Value is established by the state, or by the reappraisal process, a final Abstract of Values must be submitted to the State for approval. Upon approval, the state issues the new tax rates for the next tax year based upon the new values, levies voted on by the taxpayers, and the 10 mills receivable by the county. If property values increase the state makes adjustments called "reduction factors" which prevent the levies from generating more revenue than was levied for at the time the levy was voted into law.
  • After the final Market Value is established the individual real estate parcels are then taxed on 35% of the market value. This 35% is called the Assessed or Taxable value. This Assessed Value is multiplied by the Tax Rate for your School District, and the "reduction factor" for your taxing district subtracts the excess that would have been generated over and above the allowable millage.
  • Most Residential parcels also qualify for the non-business credit rollback on taxes based on legislation enacted in 1971. This rollback does not apply to Commercial or Industrial properties.
  • Residential parcels where the home is owner-occupied may also qualify for a 2.5% reduction in taxes on their dwelling and up to a one acre home site.
  • The millage generated by the county is for the general fund, Darke County Board of Developmental Disabilities, the Darke County Park District, and Tri-County Mental Health. There are also levies for various Townships, Municipalities, and Schools.

If you have questions please call the Auditor's Office at: 937-547-7309.

Transfer of Ownership:

  • When a real property parcel transfers ownership a legal document commonly called a "Deed" must be prepared and brought to the Darke County Map Office.
  • Next the deed is taken to the Darke County Auditor's Office, where a $3.00 per thousand Conveyance Fee is paid, plus a Transfer Fee of $0.50 per parcel. If you have questions please call the Auditor's Office at: 937-547-7307.
  • Next the deed is taken to the Darke County Recorder's Office where it is legally recorded. Please contact the Darke County Recorder’s Office for the recording fee amount at 937-547-7390.
  • Link to Darke County Recorder

Tax Exempt Properties:

Some examples of real property that may qualify for Tax Exemption in Darke County are as follows:

  • Churches - the actual place of worship, Sunday school classrooms, fellowship halls, and pavilion areas used by the church. Parsonages are Not exempt. If the parsonage is on the same parcel as the church, the state will split off one acre and the parsonage as taxable. Sometimes the parsonage also has a church office, or the basement is used as church storage. In this case the state will exempt the office and basement, leaving the rest of the square footage taxable.
  • Schools - almost everything owned by the school is exempt, the school, baseball dugouts, tracks, concession stands, press boxes, etc.
  • Townships, Cities, and Villages - almost everything used for these entities is exempt.
  • Non-Profit Organizations - Salvation Army, Every Woman's House, etc.
  • County owned property
  • Public Parks
  • State of Ohio - ODOT, OARDC, OSU
  • Colleges
  • Graveyards
  • Hospitals

Note: If these entities were to lease a portion of their property for profit, or the land were vacant with no future plans for use, these portions would not qualify for tax exemption.

See the Tax Exemption Application

Community Reinvestment Area (CRA):

The Ohio Community Reinvestment Area program is an economic development tool administered by municipal and county governments that provides real property tax exemptions to businesses or individuals making investments in Ohio. In order to use this program a city, village, or county must petition the Ohio Department of Development for a geographical area in which investment in housing has generally been discouraged. The petition is reviewed by the department and a housing survey performed by the city, village, or county involved. Once an area is confirmed, communities may offer real property tax exemptions to taxpayers that invest in the area.

If you have questions on the Community Reinvestment Area program, please contact the Ohio Department of Development’s Tax Incentive Office by calling 614.466.4312 or 800.848.1300 or visit their web site at: 

Tax Increment Financing (TIF):

Tax Increment Financing is a method of assigning a portion of the taxes (usually dependent on charges in value beyond a given year) to a specific municipality to facilitate growth. It is an abatement but one that is taxed as if it were normal taxes. The difference is that the monies collected are not distributed to the normal taxing authority but typically either go straight to the municipality (city) or a combination of city and school.

Public Utilities Parcels:

Amended Substitute House Bill 66 enacted several changes that impacted the way some public utility real and personal property is valued and assessed. Preliminary assessments for railroad companies do not include values for non-operating railroad real property. It is the responsibility of the county auditor to value and assess non-operating railroad real property. The state sends preliminary assessments to the county auditor for public utilities that have taxable property in the county. The taxable values reflected on the certifications from the state must be placed on the Real and Public Utility Tax List with taxes computed accordingly.

If you have questions please call the Auditor's Office at: 937-547-7317.

History of Changes:

  • 1851 - New Construction required taxation of all property by uniform rule (but expressly authorized exemption for certain property classes, e.g. churches, schools, etc).
  • 1902 - End to state property tax levies for general fund.
  • 1910 - Culmination of reform movement leading to creation of single State Tax Commission to supervise local property tax administration.
  • 1925 - First statutory requirement for six-year reappraisal.
  • 1927 - Statute set aggregate tax limit of 15 mills on each dollar of tax valuation except for taxes approved by voters (1% of true value since 1901).
  • 1931 - Constitutional amendment limited levies without voters approval to 1.5% of true value.
  • 1933 - Constitution set limit of 1% of true value on non-voted levies.
  • 1934 - Statue reduced aggregate tax limit from 15 mills to 10 mills for non-voted levies.
  • 1939 - State Tax Commission replaced by Department of Taxation: A Board of Tax Appeals which supervised real property tax administration, and a Tax Commissioner assuming functions with respect to public utility property.
  • 1965 - First statutory requirement that real property be assessed at no more than 50% of true value, with actual percentage to be established by uniform rule of the Board of Tax Appeals.
  • 1971 - Enactment of 10% rollback and first legislation authorizing homestead exemptions.
  • 1972 - BTA rule setting tax value at 35% of true value to be implemented by all counties as they complete their sexennial appraisal cycle, with adjustments to maintain the 35% level.
  • 1973 - Top bracket of the homestead exemption increased from $8,000 to $10,000.
  • 1974 - Legislation authorized valuation of agricultural property according to current use (1973 constitutional amendment).
  • 1975 - Homestead exemption extended to permanently and totally disabled homeowners.
  • 1976 - Real property tax credits provided; real property valuations updated every three years; and State Department of Tax Equalization created.
  • 1976 - Definition of "total income" for homestead exemption amended to exclude disability benefits paid by the Veterans Administration and other branches of the armed services, and social security income increases after December 31, 1975.
  • 1976 - The limit of each homestead exemption income bracket increased by $1,000 (except the highest bracket).
  • 1978 - Closing date for payment of first half real property taxes changed.
  • 1979 - A 2.5% tax rollback on residential property is granted. The upper income limit on homestead exemption at $15,000 and created three $5,000 income brackets.
  • 1980 - Separate percentage reduction factors applied to two classes of real property (combined value of residential and agricultural property and value of other real property).
  • 1983 - Department of Tax Equalization eliminated and all of its functions transferred to the Department of Taxation.
  • 1986 - The limit of each homestead exemption income bracket increased by $1,500 beginning in tax year 1988.
  • 1991 - Homestead exemption extended to surviving spouses of homestead exemption recipients (1990 constitutional amendment)
  • 1994 - Extended Enterprise Zone program to December 31, 1997, reduced maximum percentage for tax exemptions and changed real property exemption procedures.
  • 1995 - The limit of each homestead exemption income bracket increased by $4,300 beginning in tax year 1995.
  • 1997 - Extended Enterprise Zone program to June 30, 1999.
  • 1998 - Permits treasurers in counties with a population of at least 200,000 to issue tax certificates on delinquent real property.
  • 1999 - The limit of each homestead exemption income bracket increased by 10.5% and the reduction in taxable value schedule was adjusted effective for tax year 1999. The brackets (tax year 2000) and the maximum deduction (tax year 2002) was indexed based on gross domestic product in future tax years.
  • 2000 - Manufactured homes purchased after Jan 1 are taxed like real property (An owner of a home purchased prior to January 1, 2000 has the option of converting to this new taxation method)
  • 2007 - Homestead exemption no longer based on income levels is available to home owners based on age and home ownership (see homestead page for more homestead qualification details)
  • 2014 – Homestead exemption is based on income levels and is available to homeowners based on age and home ownership (See homestead page for more homestead qualification details)

See the Homestead Page for more information.

Real Property Appraisal
Real Property Appraisal

The County Auditor is mandated by the State to conduct a comprehensive county-wide reappraisal of real estate properties every six years to establish property values for tax purposes, using a uniform approach that produces a fair estimate of what the property would sell for on the open market. There are many things which influence the market value of a property besides comparable sales, such as interest rates, cost of land acquisition, construction and material costs, etc.

On the third year between the six-year reappraisal cycle the state issues to the county auditor percentage updates for property values based upon the current sales amounts in any given area of the county.

Three Approaches of Valuation:

Cost Approach

The cost approach involves estimating the cost of reproducing, or replacing, the building and site improvements. Reproduction cost looks at reproducing a replica property at a given point in time at its full current value. Replacement cost refers to the cost of reproducing improvements of equal quality, meaning that the full reproduction cost is given a functional or economic obsolescence factor to account for the current condition of the improvements. Then the estimated land value is added to the depreciated value of the buildings to reach a total replacement value.

Income Approach

The income approach is often used for commercial and industrial property. The income approach allows the property value to be based on the property's ability to generate and maintain a standard of income for the owner. This method requires the appraiser to analyze the income yields for their relative durability, and relate this to the changing economic environment in the local area. This approach works well since potential buyers are primarily interested in the potential revenue and tax shelter the business will generate. A buyer will weigh the potential return on their investment when purchasing the property. For commercial and industrial vacant land the marked approach may work best.

Market Approach

The market approach involves gathering sales comparison data and relating it to the property being appraised. The appraiser must consider not only the location, but the square feet, quality, design, age, condition, usefulness, and desirability of the property when making comparisons to other properties sold in the area. The ability to generate a list of comparable sales in a given area from the auditor's sales records is very useful in this approach.

Property Class Equalization

The property classes are residential, agricultural, commercial, and industrial. Market value is the most common bases of equalization, where a residential property is not only equalized to other residential property classes, but also to all the other property classes in the area. The market value is the price an intelligent informed person is willing to pay in an arm's length sale for the property. The appraiser must estimate a reasonable price for the property by taking into account all the different property classes and the potential sales value for each property class. In this way all property classes are equalized in a mass appraisal.

Independent Sources that May Help Indicate Real Property Value

(to help property owners know they are being treated fairly)

  • Recent sales amounts of similar homes in your immediate neighborhood.
  • Asking price of homes for sale in a similar neighborhood within a reasonable proximity to your neighborhood.
  • Realtors can often offer a good indication of market values for properties.
    (Sometimes the Realtor's listing books can be of help in comparing a certain neighborhood)
  • Independent appraisals done for banks making mortgage loans or estate settlements.
    (Note: These can be very conservative to protect the bank's interests or to minimize estate taxes)
  • Insurance value amounts for coverage on the house, if this amount is updated annually.
    (Note: Be sure to look at the "Replacement Value" line instead of reproduction cost at the time of the loan)
  • Home equity loan appraisals. (These too may be conservative)
  • The total cost to build your new home (including the cost of the land, septic/sewer, well/water, landscaping, and driveway).
    (Note: The market value is not reduced for savings due to owner participation in construction)
  • If you have questions please call the Auditor's Office at: 937-547-7317.
Weights & Measures
Weights & Measures

How are the Weights and Measures controlled?

It is the National Conference on Weights and Measures, Inc. (NCWM) that creates the standards and process to fairly meet the needs of consumers, businesses, regulators and manufacturers.

The (NCWM) is a professional organization of State and local weights and measures officials. Its members include representatives of industry, government, and consumers. The Conference's mission is to promote the development of uniform, effective State and local weights and measures laws that help maintain a fair marketplace and protect both consumers and businesses. Your State and local officials are responsible for enforcing the weights and measures laws. They use highly-accurate equipment to make sure that weighing and measuring devices, such as gasoline pumps and scales, are in fact giving proper measurement. They work to ensure that every commercial transaction involving weight or measure is fair and accurate. Throughout the millions of transactions that take place every day, your weights and measures officials help guarantee that you get what you pay for.

For more information about this organization visit their web site at:

How often do inspectors check scanners, test scales, and check gas pumps?

Every measuring device is checked, tested, and sealed for accuracy once a year. These devices are also spot checked throughout the year.

How is a consumer complaint handled?

A state certified inspector is dispatched within 24 hours to start the investigation process.

Most Common complaints are:

  • Inaccurate meter reading at the gas pump
  • Incorrect labeling or pricing of products at the grocery store
  • Inability to have a clear view of the scanner or register screen
  • Department store advertised specials not being honored at the check out counter

If you have any additional questions, please call the Darke County Auditor’s Office at 937-547-7310 or you may also contact the Darke County Weights and Measures Sealer, Phil Stubbs, at 937-417-8518.