Summit County Fiscal Officer Kristen M. Scalise has announced that real estate tax relief will be available to residents who sustained damage to their properties in the wake of recent storms.

The fiscal office is taking the necessary steps to provide property owners the ability to file an Application for Valuation Deduction for Destroyed or Damaged Property (Form DTE 26), pursuant to Ohio Revised Code 319.38.

Form DTE 26 can be downloaded from our website. Visit www.FiscalOffice.summitoh.net and click on the link titled "Damaged Property" listed in the "Real Estate and Appraisal" column.

Mail the completed form to the fiscal office at 175 S. Main St., Room 304, Akron 44308. If you do not have access to a computer, you may call 330-643-2704 to request a form in the mail.

For property damaged by the storm, the filing deadline is Jan. 31, 2018. Scalise has stressed the importance of filing this application as soon as possible. Any deduction from value will affect the tax bills mailed in January 2018.

The amount of the deduction equals a percentage of the reduction in value caused by the damage. That percentage is determined by the calendar quarter in which the damage occurred; the reduction will be 25 percent in value of the destroyed portion.

Example: A property is appraised at $100,000 by the fiscal office. The insurance company indicates there was $10,000 damage due to the recent storms. Since the damage occurred in November, the homeowner is entitled to a 25 percent reduction of the damage amount. Therefore, the property will be appraised at $97,500 for tax year 2017.

Real estate taxes are billed one year in arrears, so the reduction will be for tax year 2017 (collection year 2018).

Once the application is filed, the appraisal department will make the necessary inspections to determine the amount of damage. Damage to trees, landscaping and fencing, as well as personal items, is excluded on residential properties.

The fiscal office tracks the repairs based on the applications received and building permits that have been filed from all the townships and cities affected by the storms.