Tax Data Series

Real Property

Real Estate Taxes:
Real Property Conveyance (Transfer) Fees:
Amounts Collected, by County, Calendar Year 2003

Ohio Revised Code Section 319.54(F)(3) establishes a mandatory transfer fee on the conveyance of real property. The fee is one dollar per thousand dollars of value of real property transferred. In addition, Ohio Revised Code Section 322.02 allows the board of county commissioners of each county to levy a permissive real property transfer fee of up to three dollars per thousand dollars of value of real property transferred. In simple terms, both the mandatory fee and the permissive county fee (a maximum of 4 mills) apply to the selling price of real estate at the time of sale. The revenue from both the mandatory fee and the permissive fee is deposited in the general fund of the county--none of the revenue goes to the state.

In 2003, conveyance fees generated $120.5 million: $42.8 million mandatory fees and $77.7 million from the permissive fees. The number of conveyances by county on which the mandatory transfer fees were collected ranged from 398 in Morgan County to 33,150 in Franklin County. The total mandatory transfer fees collected by each county ranged from $16,794 in Noble County to $6.0 million in Franklin County. The average mandatory transfer fee collected by each county ranged from $35.25 in Meigs County to $255.25 in Delaware County, with a statewide average of $132.98. The average total transfer fee, including both mandatory and permissive fees, collected by each county ranged from $45.75 in Adams County to $801.90 in Geauga County, with a statewide average of $374.86. The total collected (both mandatory fee and permissive fee) ranged from $21,846 in Morgan County to $19.5 million in Cuyahoga County.

Ohio Revised Code Section 319.54(F)(3) exempts certain conveyances from the mandatory transfer fee. During 2003, a total of 258,120 (44.5 percent of the total) transfer fee statements filed with the county auditors were exempted from the fee. The lowest percentage exempted was in Warren County with 30.3 percent exempted. Wyandot County, with 61.1 percent, had the highest percentage exempted.

Table PC-1 shows the revenues collected by each county from both the mandatory transfer fee and the permissive real property transfer fee. The data presented in the table were compiled from a survey of county auditors conducted by the Ohio Department of Taxation.