West Side Real Estate News & Notes
Homeownership topics explored at Housing Summit
DOWNTOWN AKRON — The Housing Summit@Lock 3 will bring real estate professionals, remodeling specialists and financial experts to one place to celebrate National Homeownership Month.
The June 23 event will take place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and feature information for those who are selling, buying or financing real estate, as well as for those who are considering renovating or building.
Workshops will take place in the O’Neil’s basement area at Lock 3, 200 S. Main St. Topics will include short sales, building standards for remodeling, insurance, home maintenance and how to select a real estate professional.
In addition, 40 booths with vendors and homeownership organizations will be at the site.
The event also will offer trolley tours of homes in the city of Akron. There also will be maps available for self-guided tours of open houses in the city from 1 to 3 p.m. that day.
Children’s activities, including the chance to get up close to an Akron Fire Department fire engine, will be offered.
The event is co-sponsored by The Akron Realtists, the Akron Area Board of REALTORS® the city of Akron, Summit County Department of Community and Economic Development and the Home Builders Association Serving Summit & Portage Counties.
More information can be found at HousingSummit@Lock3 on Facebook. Those who “like” the event will be entered into a drawing for a $1,000 Home Depot gift card.
Cooling assistance available
DOWNTOWN AKRON — Air conditioners and financial assistance with electric bills for the hot summer months are available this summer through Akron Summit Community Action (ASCA) for qualifying residents.
The 2012 Summer Cooling Program will be offered until Aug. 31. The benefit amount per household has increased this year to $250, an increase of $75 from previous years, according to ASCA officials.
Income-eligible households in Summit County can receive assistance to pay their electric bill and/or receive an air conditioner valued up to $250, ASCA officials said. This assistance is provided once per cooling season.
Households also can be eligible if they have received a disconnection notice, if a member has a medical condition that would benefit from assistance (verified by physician documentation) or where there’s a member who is 60 or older.
To apply for assistance, applicants must provide proof of income for all residents 18 years of age or older for either three or 12 months; a copy of the most recent utility bill; Social Security numbers and birth dates for all residents in the home; and medical documentation in cases required to show medical need.
To be considered for assistance, call the Summer Crisis Program appointment line at 866-504-7400. Appointments will be scheduled Mondays through Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. All appointments must be made through the appointment line, ASCA officials said.
Second-half 2011 real estate tax bills in the mail
DOWNTOWN AKRON — The second-half 2011 real estate tax bills were mailed starting June 8, according to Summit County Fiscal Officer Kristen Scalise.
The closing date for payment of property tax bills is July 13, with the exception of military personnel, according to Scalise. The due date for the property tax bill payment may be deferred for military reservists who are on active duty. For an application to defer a tax payment, call 330-643-2641 or visit http://fiscaloffice.summitoh.net.
According to Scalise, there are several ways for taxpayers to make payments.
Taxes can be paid in person at the Fiscal Office Treasurer Division, on the third floor of the Ohio Building, 175 S. Main St. in Downtown Akron, weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Taxes also may be paid through the Regional Tax Collection System. A list of participating banks that will accept payment due for property taxes is included on the tax bill. Such payments must include checks made payable to the banking institution.
Tax payments also may be mailed. Those payments must be U.S. postmarked no later than July 13 to avoid the statutory 10 percent penalty for late payment. A private meter is not valid for establishing the date of payment, according to Scalise.
Credit card or e-check payments also will be accepted. MasterCard, Visa, Discover, American Express or electronic checks will be accepted by phone or the Fiscal Office secure online service. Payments are processed by Official Payments Corp., which charges a service fee of up to 3 percent for credit cards and $2 for an electronic check. To pay by phone, call Official Payments Corp. at 800-272-9829 and follow the instructions on the recorded message. Those using this payment method will need to know the jurisdiction code for Summit County, which is 4596.
Also, the Tax Installment Program will be available for the second-half 2011 real estate tax collection. The program provides relief through monthly installment payments for residential homeowners.
The Fiscal Office also offers various other plans to assist in the payment of delinquent taxes. Any taxpayer who is delinquent should call 330-643-2600 for more details and to make arrangements. All arrangements must be made before the July 13 deadline to avoid the 10 percent penalty.
Ohio law states it is a property owner’s responsibility to obtain and pay tax bills on time, according to Scalise. She added that second-half 2011 real estate tax bills also are available online by choosing the Property Tax and Appraisal link on the home page. Those who have not received a tax bill by the end of June may call 330-643-2588 or 888-388-5613, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website to print a bill by following the prompts.
— By Maria Lindsay
County continues Tax Installment Plan
DOWNTOWN AKRON — Property owners unable to pay their full second-half tax bills can take part in the Tax Installment Plan (TIP) offered through the Summit County Fiscal Office.
Fiscal Officer Kristen Scalise said the program provides relief through monthly installment payments for residential homeowners who are facing financial difficulties.
Scalise said property owners who pay their real estate taxes directly to the Fiscal Office but cannot pay the second-half amount due can avoid late payment penalties by enrolling in TIP. To be eligible, all taxes and assessments must be current. The deadline to sign up is July 13, which is also the last day to pay second-half 2011 real estate taxes.
Full payment must be received by Nov. 15 to avoid the statutory 10 percent penalty for late payment. There is a 5 percent enrollment charge, which is calculated on the current amount of taxes due.
Only owner-occupied properties qualify. Homeowners who participate in the Fiscal Office’s Delinquent Tax Program are not eligible, and the TIP program is not available to commercial owners or those homeowners who escrow their taxes with a mortgage lender.
For more information or to enroll, call the Fiscal Office at 330-643-2869 or go to www.co.summit.oh.us/fiscaloffice.
Falls accepting Beautification Awards nominations
CUYAHOGA FALLS — Cuyahoga Falls is accepting nominations from residents for the city’s annual Beautification Awards Program. This year, the effort is being conducted in conjunction with the city’s bicentennial year celebrations.
Nominations for a residence or business located in the city will be accepted until Aug. 3.
According to city officials, nominees will be judged on the attractiveness of the landscaping, with particular regard to the use of flowers, ornamental trees and shrubbery.
The city’s Tree Board will choose the winners, and awards will be distributed by Mayor Don Robart in September, according to city officials.
Photos of nominated sites may be emailed to email@example.com or sent by mail to: City of Cuyahoga Falls, Attn: Beautification Awards Program, 2310 Second St., Cuyahoga Falls, OH 44221.
All submitted photos will be verified by a site visit from city officials. Photographs will not be returned.
— By Maria Lindsay
FirstEnergy warning customers of utility scam
GREATER AKRON — FirstEnergy Corp. is warning customers of its 10 electric distribution companies to be wary of bogus claims that President Barack Obama will help pay utility bills for residential customers through a special federal program.
Reported in numerous states, the scam involves customers being asked to provide sensitive information, such as Social Security numbers, which presents an identity-theft risk, according to FirstEnergy officials. The scammers then supply customers with a phony bank routing number to pay their bills. However, no government funds are applied to customer accounts and the full balance remains due.
According to FirstEnergy officials, scam victims have been hit by individuals going door-to-door, making phone calls, posting fliers and using email, text-messaging and social media.
FirstEnergy officials encourage customers to be vigilant at all times and to notify local police if they become a victim of this fraudulent scheme.
According to FirstEnergy officials, customers should note the following:
• FirstEnergy employees do not ask for sensitive information, such as Social Security numbers and bank account numbers.
• Customers should use authorized methods only to pay electric bills.
• Customers should check for proper identification before allowing utility employees into their homes.
• FirstEnergy employees always carry photo identification and many wear uniforms and drive clearly marked company vehicles.
• FirstEnergy utility employees typically visit a home only in response to a service request. If no one scheduled an appointment, do not allow the person through the door.
To verify the authenticity of anyone claiming to be a FirstEnergy utility employee, or for any other concerns, call 800-633-4766 (Ohio Edison) or 800-589-3101 (The Illuminating Co.). For details, visit www.firstenergycorp.com.
— By Maria Lindsay
More Real Estate News
Calendar of Events
- Spring Nature Hikes - 5/22/2013
- Summit Children’s Choir - 5/22/2013
- “Calamity Jane” - 5/23/2013
- Book Sale and Bizarre Bazaar - 5/25/2013
- Art Sale - 5/25/2013