Disputing Your Property Tax Assessment – Reducing Your Tax Burden

Think your property tax bill is too high? If so, it might be a good time to check on your assessment!

The county assessment is the basis from which property taxes are derived and the groundwork for your tax bill. In Ohio, county auditors are required to do a full, general reappraisal once in every six years. This process is called the Sexennial Reappraisal. The auditor or his qualified appraiser is required to view and appraise every property in the county for this purpose.

On the third year in between reappraisals, each county auditor is required to perform a statistical analysis of the sales which have occurred in the prior three years and provide for a percentage adjustment to be made to the values of all properties in each given marketing neighborhood. These adjustments are also stratified according to value to assure that the equitability of the valuations is maintained or corrected based on the analysis of like comparable sales. This process is called the Triennial Update.

While our local markets have incurred strong gains in recent years, the county assesses properties based on the appreciation rates seen in the general area, a rate it then assigns across the board to comparable properties in that area.

Other than the statutory reappraisal or update, each auditor is charged with annually reviewing the properties which have been found to have changed or are no longer appraised at their fair market value. Most often the change is due to new construction, a change in the physical size or shape of the land, or a demolition or damage to a property.

That said, not all markets have experienced the same levels of appreciation and/or depreciation and homeowner’s who feel that their home has been overvalued are encouraged to file a complaint with their respective Board of Revision before the March 31st deadline. Homeowner’s should compare their assessed value to what they estimate their property would have sold for on January 1 of the year prior (homeowner’s are encouraged to contact a Realtor to request comparable sales data and to get a professional opinion of their property’s current value). If this estimate is similar to your total assessed value, your property is accurately and equitably assessed and an appeal will likely prove unsuccessful. However, if your estimate is below the total assessed value, your property may be assessed too high and you may wish to file a complaint.

Filing a Complaint

Filing a complaint allows property owners to schedule a hearing before the Board of Revision (BOR), which is comprised of the County Auditor, Treasurer and President of the Board of Commissioners or their representatives for both Franklin and Delaware Counties. The forms required to file a complaint include the BOR Appeal Application, and the Residential Data Sheet, both of which can be found on the auditor’s site, or you may email us a request for copies to theoplandgroup@gmail.com.

The Ohio Supreme Court has ruled that a Complaint may be dismissed if the BOR Application is not filled out completely and thus homeowners must be sure to fully complete Lines 1-14 of the form before signing the document in the presence of a Notary Public. (If the owner of the property is an entity rather than an individual, the complaint form must be signed by an attorney. An additional signature should be added by a party who has personal knowledge and can verify the information contained on the complaint form.)

Homeowners must also complete and include the Residential Data Sheet to ensure the information used in determining their value is correct. * Note that this information will become part of your permanent record for future appraisals. Homeowner’s should also submit any and all documents supporting their claimed valuation and should prepare their case as thoroughly as possible. You must provide enough data to support your opinion of value and it’s suggested you include a map showing the location of your property and comparable sale properties. You should also include any other evidence which supports your reason for challenging the assessment, for example;

(1) a purchase agreement or closing statement if the property is under contract or was recently purchased

(2) an appraisal report either prepared for the appeal or for some other purpose and trended to the appropriate valuation date

(3) a Comparable Market Analysis that is recent sales data on homes that are comparable to the subject property

(4) written commercial estimates of the cost to repair problems, including photographs,

(5) or income and expense information if the property is an investment or income producing.

Once these forms have been completed and the has been evidence prepared, these documents should then be mailed to Board of Revision 373 S. High St. 20th Floor Columbus, OH 43215, by facsimile to 614.462.6252, or emailed to BOR@franklincountyohio.gov FOR FRANKLIN COUNTY PROPERTY OWNERS, or 145 N Union St. 1st Floor, Delaware, OH 43015, by facsimile to 740.833.2899, or email to auditor@co.delaware.oh.us FOR DELAWARE COUNTY PROPERTY OWNERS. You will be notified of your hearing date by Certified Mail no less than ten days prior to the hearing.

In the interim, homeowners should review the evidence they’ve collected and prepare to present this to the board, and answer any questions they may have. Owners may wish to prepare a written comparison sheet which shows why the comparable sales they’ve selected support their opinion of value. For each comparable sale be sure to include; the address of the property, the parcel number, the date of the sale, and the sales price. Also include as much information regarding the key characteristics of the property, including the size of the lot and it’s desirable or undesirable features, the size of the home, the date it was constructed, construction quality, etc. Your written and oral testimony should be understandable, logical, and believable. The Board has extensive knowledge in many areas including appraisal practice and finance, however, it will not sift through unorganized data in order to develop your case.

Additional Details



** In addition, owners of properties that have been damaged by fire, flood or other means are encouraged to submit a Property Value Reduction Application. A substantial reduction in property value will result in a lower property tax bill until the property has been essentially restored to its prior condition. Applications for value reductions for properties damaged between January 1 and September 30 are due by December 31 of the same tax year. Applications for properties damaged between October 1 and December 31 are due no later than January 31 of the year following the damage. The amount of the value reduction allowed is adjusted quarterly depending upon when the damage occurred. For more information, please call 614-525-4663 (HOME) or email ClarenceMingo@franklincountyohio.gov.

If you have questions regarding this process or if you’d like to request comparable sales data on your property you are invited to call us at 614.332.6984 or email us at theoplandgroup@gmail.com.
If you, or someone you know is considering Buying or Selling a Home in Columbus, Ohio please give us a call and we’d be happy to assist you!

The Opland Group Specializes in Real Estate Sales, Luxury Home Sales, Short Sales in; Bexley 43209 Columbus 43201 43206 43214 43215 Delaware 43015 Downtown Dublin 43016 43017 Gahanna 43219 43230 Grandview Heights 43212 Galena 43021 Hilliard 43026 Lewis Center 43035 New Albany 43054 Pickeringto, 43147 Polaris Powell 43065 Upper Arlington 43220 43221 Westerville 43081 43082 Worthington 43235

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