Ohio Taxation

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Online Resources[edit | edit source]

Why Use Tax Records[edit | edit source]

By studying several consecutive years of tax records you may determine when a young men came of age, when individuals moved in and out of a home, or when they died leaving heirs. Authorities determined wealth (real estate, or income) to be taxed. Taxes can be for polls, real and personal estate, or schools.

Tax record content varies and may include the name and residence of the taxpayer, description of the real estate, name of original purchaser, description of personal property, number of males over 21, number of school children, slaves, and farm animals. Tax records usually are arranged by date and locality and are not normally indexed. Tax records can be used in place of missing land and census records to locate a person’s residence. person’s residence.

How to Use Tax Records for Ohio[edit | edit source]

County Level[edit | edit source]

Tax records for Ohio began as early as 1800. The archives section of the Ohio Historical Society "Now known as the Ohio History Connection" has a collection of original Ohio tax lists from the state auditor's office. They include lists from the county's organization to 1838, usually arranged by county and township. They are not indexed.

  • The Family History Library has microfilms for existing tax records for Ohio before 1838. Tax records from 1801 to 1814 for the state of Ohio and County records from 1816 to 1838 may be found in the FamilySearch Catalog by using the Place-name Search for: United States, Ohio, [name County] then click on taxation

County courthouses hold various tax records that have not been inventoried. They are in the office of the county auditor or the county records manager. Tax duplicates are at the Ohio Historical Society. Now known as The Ohio History Connection

The Ohio History Connection
Located in: Ohio Expo Center & State Fair
Address: 800 E. 17th Ave
Columbus, OH 43211
Phone: (614) 297-2300

State Level[edit | edit source]

Because only persons who owned taxable property were listed, many residents were not included in tax lists. There may also be gaps of several years in the tax records of some counties.

  • Real property tax lists contain the owner's name, the location (section/range/township) of the property, the number of acres owned, and the types of buildings on the land. Land purchased from the federal government was not taxable for five years. As a result, many persons living in the Congress Lands (see the "Land and Property" page) will not appear on tax lists until the year their land became taxable.

Books not digitized at FHC in Salt Lake but other Locations at various libraries click on WorldCat on each page link to find other locations

While these indexes are helpful tools to find ancestors, be aware that some counties may be missing entirely from the indexes.

Printed Books on Tax lists:

  • Early tax Records Powell, Esther Weygandt, Early Ohio Tax Records (Akron, Ohio: Ohio State auditor) Located at various libraries click on WorldCat on this link to find other locations FHL book 977.1 R4op Includes a surname index to early Ohio tax records. (Does not include all tax lists and counties that are at the archives.) [1]
  • 1810- Petty, Gerald M., Ohio 1810 tax duplicate arranged in a state-wide alphabetical list of names of taxpayers : with an index of names of original entries. (Columbus, Ohio:Petty, c1976) Other locations click on WorldCat on this link FHL book 977.1 R4p
  • 1926-1954- A series of 90 Volumes of tax bound abstracts are available through the "The Ohio History Connection". Each volume is bound annually. The abstracts are arranged alphabetically by county name within each volume. Abstracts prior to 1925 were destroyed in a fire. The abstracts from 1926 to 1954, are contained in one volume. After 1955, each year's abstracts are take up two volumes.
  • Ohio Genealogical Quarterly Includes index; Contains abstracts of probate records, marriages, cemetery inscriptions, histories, family histories, tax lists, military records, etc. FHL Books/Monographs 977.1 D28 Other locations click on WorldCat on this link

The National Archives-Great Lakes Region retains numerous federal tax records for Ohio. These include assessment books for 1867-73 - corporate and personal records for District 10, Toledo and District 11, Columbus. [2]

Great Lakes Archives
Adderess: 7358 South Pulaski Road
Chicago, IL 60629
Phone: 773-948-9001
Email: chicago.archives@nara.gov​

Tax money bag.jpg

Tax Laws[edit | edit source]

Ohio tax records can help you trace families moving through Ohio during the early years when Ohio was a crossroads of the Old Northwest. These records complement land records and can be used in place of censuses before 1820 or to supplement the years between censuses.

Abraham Lincoln instituted the income tax in 1862, and on July 1, 1862, Congress passed the Internal Revenue Act, creating the Bureau of Internal Revenue (later renamed to the Internal Revenue Service). This act was intended to “provide Internal Revenue to support the Government and to pay interest on the Public Debt.” Instituted in the height of the Civil War, the “Public Debt” at the time primarily consisted of war expenses. For the Southern States that were part of the Confederate side of the Civil War, once Union troops took over parts of the Southern States, income tax were instituted on them. [3]

  • To learn more about this Collection click here
  • To learn more about the Civil War taxes click here

What history has shown us is that while property taxes are locally levied, there is significant state involvement with the amount of tax local political subdivisions can levy, how property assessments are conducted, and what services local taxing subdivisions must provide for their residents. This comes at a cost to state taxpayers, because the state has obligations it must fund as well, with a limited amount of state tax dollars.

References[edit | edit source]