Ohio State Grange
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Grange Real Estate Tax Exemption

Updated April 25, 2014:

Ohio State Grange Exempt Status Determination Letter

 Updated Information March 20, 2014:

The purpose of this communication is to make known some recent important information in order to assist those who have filed for or who are planning to file for real estate tax exemption for their Granges.  I have been in contact with Sara Caldwell, an attorney for the Ohio Department of Taxation’s Division of Tax Equalization, concerning the real estate tax exemption which I had properly filed October 4th for the Ohio State Grange’s office real estate.

 In a subsequent letter from Sara to me, she additionally requested (A) a floor plan of the building [OSG Office] on the property showing the detailed use of each room/area; (B) a copy of our 2012 IRS Form 990; and (C) a copy of our IRS determination letter. [A document stating the OSG’s 501(c)5 tax-exempt status. {note: for other Granges, 501(c)5, 501(c)8, and 501(c)10 status codes are the only codes that qualify}].

 Concerning (A), I copied floor plans of both levels from our office building’s architectural plans and mailed them to Sara.

 Concerning (B), with the normal extension our accountant files and receives each year for OSG’s 990, our 2012 IRS Form 990 will not be prepared before August, 2014, so I don’t have it available yet,

 Concerning (C), not having a determination letter since 1954, which was before the current 501(c) status codes were established, I have contacted the IRS,  and they will soon be sending us a current and acceptable determination letter, which I will then submit to the Ohio Department of Taxation’s Division of Tax Equalization.

 After talking to Sara concerning (B), our OSG  IRS Form 990 for 2011is not satisfactory because only a 2012  IRS Form 990 is acceptable.  However, Sara said I may instead send her a signed notarized statement confirming that our annual rental income is less than $36,000.00 (one of the requirements) because we have zero rental income for this office.  A similar notarized statement confirming that your Grange’s annual rental income is less than $36,000.00 will probably need to be submitted because most Granges file only the 990-n, and rental income info is requested only on a (long form) 990.  Likewise, for those Granges who are not able to file their 990-n because IRS hasn’t updated their system so they can, you can also submit a signed notarized statement confirming that your annual rental income is less than $36,000.00.

 Concerning (C), as far as your determination letter, you may (1) notify the Ohio Department of Taxation’s Division of Tax Equalization that you are under the Ohio State Grange’s 501(c)5 IF you were neither revoked nor changed your filing status code, or (B) send them a copy of your recently received determination letter stating your Grange’s new filing status code.

 Therefore, if you run into any of the above situations, you may respond accordingly.  However , if you have any issues at all, you should communicate via the contact information provided in the letter the Ohio Department of Taxation’s Division of Tax Equalization sent to you.

 

Gary Brumbaugh, President

Ohio State Grange

End of March 20, 2014 Information

Original information:

Real Estate Tax Exemption for Granges

Governor Kasich recently signed a bill to exempt 100 year old fraternal organizations, including Granges, from real estate taxes. The pertinent Form DTE 23 is linked here and is also on the Ohio Auditor’s website.  Because of this recently signed bill, all Granges in Ohio over 100 years old who pay real estate taxes are eligible to apply for real estate tax exemption.  ALSO, while talking to a representative from Ohio Auditor Dave Yost’s office recently, it was indicated that all real estate tax paying Granges in Ohio MAY be eligible to apply for real estate tax exemption whether they are over 100 years old or not, because the Ohio State Grange is over 100 years old.  The reference is in the recently modified wording of the Ohio Revised Code Sec 5709.17; the last line in Paragraph D indicates that, if it can be determined that the Ohio State Grange is a governing body of its Subordinate Granges,  Granges under 100 years old will also qualify.  The fact that all Granges are required to operate within the by-laws of their State Grange, may indicate that the Ohio State Grange is a governing body of Ohio’s Granges.  That should be worth an attempt!

Form DTE 23 is originally a two sheet form with pages one and two and pages three and four copied back to back.  Note that it is a ‘fillable’ form which can be printed after having been filled out, if you wish.  It should be sent as soon as possible in order for local hearings to take place to have your request acted upon in order to complete the exemption request process.  A delay in submitting the correct form may result in a delay in action which could bring about another year of paying real estate taxes.  Contact your local Auditor’s Office if you have questions.  Also, feel free to contact the Ohio State Grange office if you wish.

Restating the qualifying facts:  [Updated 02/15/2014]

1) If you pay real estate taxes, were chartered over a hundred years ago, and have a federal tax exempt status of a 501(c)(5), 501(c)(8), or 501(c)(10), you are qualified to file for real estate tax exemption.

2) If you pay real estate taxes, were chartered less than a hundred years ago, and have a federal tax exempt status of a 501(c)(5), 501(c)(8), or 501(c)(10), you MAY BE qualified to file for real estate tax exemption, if it can be determined that the Ohio State Grange (Chartered 140 ½ years ago) is a governing body of its Subordinate Granges.  If this is the determination, then those Granges under 100 years old will also qualify.  It’s worth filing, just in case. However, state in line 14 that you are operating as a domestic fraternal order under the Ohio State Grange, which was organized April 9, 1873.

Filing tips:

1) The printing on the form must be very legible; the linked (above) and online form if fillable.  That’s by far the best way to fill it out!

2) File as soon as possible or you may be a year later in qualifying for the exemption.

3) On the first page, on the line just above the block stating ‘Applicant Name:’, enter “2014, payable 2015”.

4) Enter the name to which your real estate is titled on the ‘Applicant Name:’ line.

5) Enter your contact person’s name and contact info on the next three lines.

6) Line 5 a) should be the same as ‘Applicant Name’.

7) Enter “ORC 5709.17 (D)” on the first line of Line 13.

8) On line 14, explain specifically how your property is being used, not just generally.  Use a separate sheet, if necessary.  Be sure to state all your charitable use; provide meeting place for youth organizations, fund raising for your Grange’s charitable activities, etc.

9) Copies of deeds are attainable at your County Recorder’s Office.

10)Everything else should be self-explanatory.

The second paragraph of the general instructions on page one may appear to be a little misleading.  It is an understanding that properly filling out the Form DTE 23 and supplying the documents requested meet the requirements stated in that paragraph.  The DTE 23 for the Ohio State Grange’s office real estate was filed October 4, and all appeared to be in order according to the local auditor’s staff.  If there is anything else needing addressed, it will be updated here, and e-mails will also be sent.

The information below is from a large central Ohio county’s Auditor’s Office website

Dear Applicant:

The following information is suggested to assist you in completing your application for Real Property Exemption (Form DTE 23) and is not meant as legal advice.

Three applications are to be given to the County Auditor’s office. One of these applications must be an original. Only two of the three applications need attachments. You may also bring in a fourth copy to be stamped and numbered by our office; for your own records. As long as the parcel numbers are in the same taxing district, they may all be included on the same application.

Please keep in mind that an exemption is not given for the year of purchase (please refer to ORC 5713.08). The taxes for the purchase year must be paid. The exemption should be filed the following year.

Please note: all taxes, assessments, penalties and interest levied against the property for the purchase year (and any year not applied for) must be paid in full prior to our office forwarding the application to the Ohio Department of Tax Equalization (DTE). Recoupment and Special Assessments are not considered property tax and are not subject to this exemption.

Our office will provide the property record card and also complete page 4 of the application, before forwarding to the State of Ohio Department of Taxation. Once the applications are received at the State, the decision of whether to grant or deny could take several months. You will be notified of the decision by letter from the State, at the address you provide on the application.

Please note: the following is not meant as legal advice. Please contact an attorney for more information. While the exemption is pending, you will continue to receive tax bills for the parcels filed on. You may either pay these bills and get reimbursed at a later date if the exemption is granted or wait for the decision to come back from the State. If you decide to hold the tax bill, please be aware that penalties and interest will accrue on the parcel. If the decision is to deny (full denial or partial), you will be liable for the taxes and interest on the parcel or portion denied. The State will remit penalties only. If the decision is to grant (full exemption or partial), the taxes, penalties and interest will be removed from the parcel or portion exempted.

End of Auditor’s Office website’s information



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