Recently the Columbus Dispatch reported on the upcoming real estate reassessment process in Franklin County, and the fact that real estate taxes are expected to increase significantly in Franklin County. What can you do about it? You can fight the county’s valuation of your property. As the Dispatch mentioned, there will be “town hall” type events through the year where property owners can discuss the value of their property with Auditor’s office staff. At these events, you have an opportunity in an informal setting to influence the reassessment with evidence of your property’s value and the value of the property around you. Is your neighbor asking for less than she paid? Did a high-traffic business go up on your block? Did the woods behind your house turn into apartments for college kids? These are all issues you’ll want to bring up at these meetings to influence the decision of the Auditor.
Then, when the final determination does come out, you can fight the county again, if necessary. In this process, you may need a lawyer to help you navigate the process of requesting a hearing before the Board of Revision, where you will need more formal evidence, such as an appraisal or proof that the value doesn’t match what you recently paid for the property. You will also have an opponent in this fight. Where the informal process is just your friendly neighborhood Auditor’s office staffer, the formal tax appeal process is often opposed by an attorney representing your local school board, who will be just as eager to ensure that your valuation stays as high as it can. These hearings can be intimidating, and you’ll want someone on your side who is ready to tangle with the school board and get your valuation right.
As you know, we at Lardiere McNair are eager to fight for your rights. What we are also eager to do is make sure you have all the tools at your disposal to ensure that you get the representation you need. As part of that commitment, we ensure that we know not only the best way to handle all of our cases, but the best people to handle them as well. When you pursue a tax appeal, you often need an expert witness, and we may need to engage an attorney who spends more of his or her time focused on a certain area. While that may mean less of a fee for us, it also means the best result for you, and that is always what we are after.
Ben Worsowicz is an Associate at Lardiere McNair, LLC. To read more about our firm, please visit www.lmcounsel.com.
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