Tax Data Series

REAL PROPERTY TAX:  Conveyance Fees Collected During Calendar Year 2015

Ohio Revised Code Section 319.54(G)(3) establishes a mandatory conveyance fee on the transfer of real property. The fee is charged on the value of the property that is transferred and expressed in mills; a mill is equivalent to one dollar per one thousand dollars of taxable value.

Ohio Revised Code Section 322.02 allows the board of county commissioners of each county to levy a permissive real property transfer fee: up to three dollars per one thousand dollars of value of real property transferred. In simple terms, both the mandatory fee and the permissive county fee (a combined 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.

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.

In 2015, conveyance fees generated $127.6 million: $38.9 million mandatory fees and $88.6 million from the permissive fees.  The number of conveyances on which the mandatory fees were collected ranged from 289 in Noble County to 26,081 in Franklin County. The total mandatory conveyance fees collected by each county ranged from $21,184 in Vinton County to $6.0 million in Franklin County.  The average mandatory conveyance fee collected by each county ranged from $47.60 in Vinton County to $293.02 in Delaware County, with a statewide average of $159.30.

For those counties that charge both the mandatory and permissive fees (all excluding Ross county), the total collected, including both mandatory and permissive fees, ranged from $74,501 in Morgan County to $18.1 million in Cuyahoga County.  The average total conveyance fee collected by each county ranged from $169.95 in Marion County to $900.95 in Delaware County, with a statewide average of $521.94.

Ohio Revised Code Section 319.54(G)(3) exempts certain conveyances from the mandatory transfer fee. During 2015, a total of 207,348 (45.9 percent of the total) transfer fee statements filed with the county auditors were exempted from the fee. The lowest percentage exempted was in Delaware County with 31.4 percent exempted.   Harrison County, with 58.7 percent, had the highest percentage exempted.