Last year, the county auditors in Holmes and Medina Counties issued notices stating the value of each property as of January 1, 2022, based on local market conditions. While each property owner saw a slightly different adjustment to their value, everyone’s values went up. While these value increases do not exactly correspond to the same increase in property tax due, property owners will still see a tax increase of several percent.
Holmes County’s 2022 reappraisal saw some of the most drastic value increases in decades. Though each property was individually reviewed, residential properties increased by 23% on average, agricultural by 35%, industrial by 23%, and commercial by 20%. While the eastern part of the county has seen an appreciation in land values during the last few years, the western portion of the county has not seen the same market conditions. Despite the difference in real estate markets, West Holmes saw similar value increases as those in East Holmes, suggesting that contesting a property’s value with the right real estate market in mind might see a reduction granted.
Medina County’s 2022 triennial update applied a factor to properties based on the real estate market they are located in. Recent sales of nearby properties or the subject property affect this trend. Commercial property values rose by about 4% while residential property values increased substantially countywide by about 27%.
Fortunately for property owners, there is a way to fight these value increases. The County Board of Revision is accepting property value appeals until March 31, 2023, for values as of January 1, 2022. While this is not a direct appeal of the amount of property tax due, it is an appeal of the value that sets the amount due, so any reduction in value will result in a corresponding refund or credit on a payment.
Any reduction in a property’s value obtained at the Board of Revision will hold until 2025. This means that any resulting tax savings will carry forward for three tax years, not just the year for which the reduction is sought. While a taxpayer may seek a reduction for any tax year, they may only appeal a property’s value once every three years. To maximize tax savings, it is important to appeal before the March 31, 2023 deadline and lock in a lower value for the entire triennium.
To appeal, residential owners are encouraged to provide a recent appraisal or other sales data in support of a lower value. In the absence of a recent sale of the appealed property, this evidence often relies on arms-length transactions of properties comparable to the appealed property. Commercial owners must obtain and provide a recent appraisal where there is no recent sale of the appealed property. Without such documentation in support of a lower value, the Board of Revision will not reduce a commercial value.
In prior years, many property owners were concerned about appealing because taxing entities, like local school boards, could bring countersuits or even appeal any taxpayer-favorable results achieved at the Board of Revision. Recently, the Ohio Legislature restricted the ability of these third parties to file appeals of property values at any level, only permitting them to become involved when the taxpayer files with the Board of Revision, or appeals the Board’s decision. Because of this, reductions achieved at the Board of Revision will not be contested further, and taxing entities cannot file the following year to try and reinstate a higher value. This change makes it all the more important to lock in a lower property value now as it cannot be contested until the next reappraisal.
Holmes and Medina Counties are not alone in these valuation increases. Wayne County values increased substantially in 2020 with values increasing by about 15% countywide and Ashland County also saw value increases of around 14%. Both counties are slated to have triennial updates in 2023 and values are expected to continue to appreciate then. These counties also offer the same formal appeals process with a deadline of March 31, 2023.
For assistance in the review of your property’s value and for assistance in filing a property value appeal, contact your Critchfield attorney or visit our Property Tax Appeals page and provide us with your information.