Pounds: Taxing responsibilityWritten by Tom Pounds | President / Publisher | firstname.lastname@example.org
Last year at this time, our readers held history in their hands as Toledo Free Press became the first weekly newspaper to publish Lucas County’s delinquent land tax notices, at significant taxpayer savings.
This year, we’re doing it again.
Inside both this and the Dec. 7 issue of Toledo Free Press, you’ll find a special insert containing the list. The section will also be available online at www.toledofreepress.com in our free digital edition and at publicnoticesohio.com.
The county’s delinquent land tax notices are required by law to be published each year by a newspaper of general circulation.
“The most important reason why this ad has to occur is to protect property rights,” Lucas County Auditor Anita Lopez told Toledo Free Press earlier this year. “When we’re saying, ‘You’re delinquent to the point where we can take your property,’ this becomes the last call to the public to get in here and pay your taxes.”
In October 2011, Gov. John Kasich signed into law Ohio House Bill 153, which broke the monopoly daily publications held on legal notices purchased with public money.
The bill eliminated the limitation that linked charging for newspapers with being permitted to publish legal notices. It opened the legal publication business to any newspaper of general circulation that publishes at least once a week and meets other criteria, including containing at least 25 percent editorial content, being published continuously for at least three years and the ability to add subscribers to its distribution list, all of which Toledo Free Press satisfies. The bill also requires a participating newspaper to offer its best classified rate.
Allowing newspapers such as Toledo Free Press to publish these notices is intended to ensure that the best rate offered by any participant in this market will be competitive. The result has been substantial savings for all who are required to publish legal notices.
A number of agencies have begun taking advantage of our lower rates to reach Lucas County taxpayers, including the Village of Ottawa Hills, City of Toledo, City of Sylvania, Monclova Township, Lucas County Metropolitan Housing Authority, Toledo Public Schools, Metroparks of Toledo Area and Washtenaw County.
During a special meeting Nov. 19, the Lucas County Commissioners voted to award this year’s contract for publishing the delinquent land tax notices to Toledo Free Press after the Auditor’s Office reviewed submitted bids and recommended Toledo Free Press’ as the “lowest and best.”
We are pleased to print and distribute this list for the second year, at significant savings for Lucas County taxpayers. We are proud that the county chose us for this important task and are confident we will do a great job, as we did last year.
Tom Pounds is president and publisher of Toledo Free Press. Contact him at email@example.com.