Under Ohio law, the deadline for hospitals and other property owners to file applications for property tax exemption is December 31 each year. Owners may seek remission of property taxes paid for up to three preceding years assuming the property was owned by the present owner and used for charitable purposes during those years.
To achieve exemption, hospitals must show that they use the property for charitable purposes, which generally involves a demonstration that the hospital provides some charitable, free, or reduced-rate medical care pursuant to a policy of providing care to patients regardless of patients’ ability to pay.
Owners may file for property tax exemption beginning with the first year following the year when they acquired the property and used the property for exempt purposes. For instance, a hospital that acquired property in 2013 could first file for exemption in 2014. If the hospital did not file in 2014, it could file for property tax exemption in 2015, and could seek remission of taxes paid for 2014.
When title to previously-exempt property is transferred, or when additional construction is performed on previously-exempt property, the property owner must re-file to seek exemption for the transferred property or the newly-constructed buildings.
Finally, to the extent that a hospital owns property that must remain taxable under Ohio law, the hospital may contest the county auditor’s valuation of the property for tax purposes by filing a property tax valuation complaint with the county Board of Revision between January 1 and March 31. Because taxes in Ohio are paid one year in arrears, a valuation complaint filed in 2015 will relate to the valuation of the property for 2014.