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"No Campaigning Beyond This Point," a sign from the 2008 election in Ohio. On Tuesday, November 4th, Ohio voters will elect a slew of statewide offices and decide on many local issues. The state offices up for grabs include governor, attorney general, secretary of state and seats on the state school board and the state Supreme Court.In the Miami Valley, three Republican U.S. Congressmen are facing challenges: John Boehner in the 8th, Mike Turner in the 10th and Steve Chabot in the 1st U.S. district.One state senate election is contested in the area—Republican Bill Beagle, of the 5th district, is defending his seat against Democratic Tipp City councilwoman Dee Gillis.Finally, there are nearly a dozen Ohio house races in the area (see the district map here and the list of candidates here) and we’re following the races for Montgomery County Commission and county auditor.The long list of local issues on Miami Valley ballots include a new tax levy for the Greene County Public Library, a Montgomery County human services levy, an income tax levy for Huber Heights, a parks levy in Beavercreek and an income tax increase in Piqua. Many school districts have levy renewals and a few are asking for increased funds.WYSO’s election night coverage will be a stream from NPR News from 8 p.m. to midnight, which is expected to focus on the U.S. Senate races. Our local and state coverage will include an interruption at 10 p.m. to check in with the Ohio Statehouse News Bureau’s hour of results and analysis in the statewide races, including Governor John Kasich’s incumbency.We’ll be updating results online Nov. 4 and 5, but most county, school district and local town or village issues will not be posted individually. Look for local results in your county on these websites:Butler County: http://results.butlercountyelections.org/Champaign County http://www.electionsonthe.net/oh/champaign/elecres.htmClark County http://www.electionsonthe.net/oh/clark/elecres.htmClinton County: http://www.electionsonthe.net/oh/clinton/ (click “Election Results” on left)Greene County: http://www.co.greene.oh.us/Archive.aspx?AMID=52Miami County: http://www.electionsonthe.net/oh/miami/elecres.htmMontgomery County: http://www.mcohio.org/boe/election_results.htmlPreble County: http://www.electionsonthe.net/oh/preble/elecres.htmWarren County: http://www.warrencountyboe.us/election_reports/search/votingresults/voting_results_publish.asp The Ohio Secretary of State’s office posts statewide unofficial election results as they become available here: https://vote.ohio.gov/Home.aspx

Why You Might Care Who Your County Auditor Is

Harry Bossey, who owns an export business in Miamisburg, is running for the second time as a Republican against Democratic Montgomery County Auditor Karl Keith.
Lewis Wallace
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WYSO

Many Miami Valley voters will be asked to choose a county auditor on the ballot on Tuesday—but some might not be clear on why the office matters.

The county auditor heads the office in charge of estimating property values, which in turn affects homeowners, business owners, and renters. When property values go up, owners pay more taxes, which can also translate to higher rents; for owners, that also means a home or business likely gains value. When assessed values go down, owners owe less in taxes, which can be good for the individual pocketbooks but hits county government, school and library budgets.

Democrat Karl Keith has been Montgomery County auditor since 2000, through a major recession that destroyed a lot of people’s property values.

“It’s been a difficult situation for people to deal with, and we’ve tried to be responsive and open and transparent throughout the whole process,” he said. “I think we’ve done a good job at that.”

If you don’t like your tax assessment, you can appeal it, and Keith says he’s proud of being one of the first counties in Ohio to set up an appeals process.

“I would like to see the auditor’s office be more customer-focused,” said Keith’s Republican opponent, Harry Bossey. He says appeals are still too difficult, and if he were elected he would establish an easy online process and more transparency overall.

Bossey also says the county should contract out less of its work—full property tax valuations are only carried out every six years, and Keith works with contractors to complete the assessments. Keith says using contractors is more efficient and less costly than having staff with specialized skills in-house.

Harry Bossey, who also ran against Karl Keith in 2010, owns an export business in Miamisburg and says his experience with finances as a small business owner qualifies him for the job. Butler and Clark Counties also have contested races for county auditor.

Lewis Wallace is WYSO's managing editor, substitute host and economics reporter. Follow him @lewispants.