Can I Reduce My Real Estate Taxes?
Real estate taxes are determined by your County Auditor using a formula determined by the Ohio Legislature. Simply, the formula works like this:
APPRAISED VALUE OF PROPERTY
__ X TAX RATE (MILLS)
The tax rate combines various taxes approved by voters which may include: Schools, Vocational Schools, County, Fire, Roads, Township, Library, Children’s Services, Parks, Mental Health, etc., etc., etc.
What can be done to reduce real estate taxes?
Since the formula for taxes is set by law and rate of taxation approved by voters, individual property owners can make little difference in the short term. However, a property owner can make a significant difference in their own annual tax in certain circumstances by challenging the third major component of the formula – appraised value.
How is Value determined?
Every six years, the County Auditor appraises every parcel of real estate. This is a huge project and will take up to two years to complete. Appraisers attempt to contact owners to discuss property characteristics such as size, age, condition, etc. The Auditor then analyzes the data and sets a value “as the most probable price each property would be estimated to sell for in an open market between a willing seller and a willing buyer, neither party being under pressure to buy or sell and all parties having full knowledge of all relevant facts about the property.” Property owners are advised of the valuation and are given an opportunity to question the appraised value. As we have seen in recent years, much can happen which may reduce the value established by the Auditor!
A Window of Opportunity to Challenge Value
Every year there is a 90-day window of opportunity to challenge the Auditor’s appraisal of value, beginning January 1 and ending March 31. A property owner must file a Complaint against the valuation of real property with the County Board of Revision within this timeframe. There is no cost to file this Complaint. The Complaint is scheduled for a hearing before the Board of Revision which is comprised of the County Auditor, County Treasurer, and President of the Board of County Commissioners. At this hearing, the property owner may present information such as recent appraisals or sales data for similar properties in support of their Complaint. The attorneys at Lardiere McNair, LLC are experienced at handling Complaints with the County Board of Revision. If you would like to learn whether your property is a good candidate for a reduction in real estate taxes, please give our office a call at (614) 534-1355.