Frequently Asked Questions
Questions often asked by County Auditors:
Q. When is my tentative abstract due to be submitted to the Department of Taxation?
A. The tentative abstract is due at the Department of Taxation by the second Monday in June of each respective year.
Q. After my tentative abstract has been submitted, what changes am I permitted to make to property values?
A. With a few minor exceptions, the only changes to values following submission of the tentative abstract should be those adopted by the Board of Revision. Additionally, new construction values that where held out of the tentative abstract may now be folded in.
Q. When should I think about signing a Revaluation contract?
A. There is an old adage which proclaims, “There is no such thing as too much time to do a good job.” We at John G. Cleminshaw, Inc. subscribe to this philosophy. The Department of Taxation will present you with “your orders” for a Sexennial Reappraisal in the spring of the year which is two years prior from the mandatory completion date of the project. If you still haven’t made plans for the Sexennial Reappraisal by the time you get your orders, receiving the orders can feel like being awakened by the snooze button on your alarm clock. Before long, the Department of Taxation will insist on receiving a plan of action.
It is a good idea to consider executing a contract for services in the fall that precedes the State’s orders. This timeline leaves plenty of time for planning and setup of the project. You will simply need to demonstrate to the Department of Taxation that you have adequate funds in your REA fund to start the project.
Questions often asked by taxpayers:
Q. What event or circumstances trigger the reappraisal of my property?
A. Your County Auditor is required by long standing Ohio Law to perform a complete reappraisal of all property within the county every six years. At the mid-point between reappraisals, the County Auditor is also required to trend values, if necessary, depending on what recent sales of property indicate about market conditions. Significant new construction to real property is also accounted for on an annual basis.
Q. Does an increase in my property value mean that my property taxes will be increasing?
A. There are many factors that affect your real property tax bill. Local tax rates and reduction factors are two of the factors that wield the most impact. Although an increase in value will often result in a higher tax bill, the increase in taxes will not necessarily rise commensurate with the value increase.
Q. Similarly, does a decrease in my property value mean that my property taxes will be lowered?
A. The same factors that are in play when values are increasing are present and have a reverse affect when values decrease. Consequently, a decrease in value will not always mean a commensurate decrease in your real property tax bill.
Q. What if I am not happy with the value that the County Auditor establishes for my property?
A. Ohio Law provides for an appeal process whereby you can contest your property value. There are several levels of appeal. Your County Auditor’s office can provide assistance concerning the details of the process. Generally, Board of Revision complaint forms must be submitted between January 1st and March 31st of each year.
Q. "I purchased my property from a lender which took the property back in foreclosure proceedings. Why won't the County Auditor use my sale price as the value for tax purposes?"
A. By law, your County Auditor is not permitted to utilize real estate sales out of foreclosure or "bank sales," where the lender is the seller, in the analysis that they perform. Furthermore, the Auditor is not permitted to substitute such a sale price for the existing Auditor’s value. Only truly "arms length" transactions come under consideration.
Q. I am preparing to make some basic repairs and much needed replacements on my house including a new roof and windows, but I'm concerned that it will increase the value of my house for tax purposes. Will I be penalized for this maintenance?
A. Policy concerning at what point exactly replacement and upgrades of components of your home constitute a certifiable increase to the value vs. normal good home maintenance varies some from county to county. However, performing good home maintenance generally does not result in the penalty of a higher property tax bill.
Q. I'm going to put a large addition on my home. At what point can I expect that the additional value of the extra living area will affect the value for tax purposes?
A. Ohio real property taxes are always "in arrears." What this means is that when approximately 50% of the estimated value of the new construction is completed, the County Auditor’s office will record this change. If significant progress on the new construction in question is not in place by January 1st of a given year, the Auditor’s office will assess the progress the following year. The affect on your real property tax bill will not occur until the year that follows the recording of the new construction.
Q. No one was ever at my property. How could they possibly appraise it?
A. By Ohio Law every property in the county must be visually inspected every six years as part of the county-wide reappraisal. Often times property owners are not present at the time of inspection.
Q. What’s the definition of "improvements?" I haven't made any improvements to my property in a very long time.
A. The word "improvements" that you see on your property record card and on your tax bill is simply a State mandated term which refers to any structures or paving that is located on the land that you own. "Improvements" is not meant to imply that anything has been done to renovate or improve the property.
Q. I haven't changed or added anything in years. Why should my property's value increase?
A. Additions or changes to a property are not needed in order for a property to increase in value. Property is reappraised principally to account for change in the real estate market – affected most by local supply and demand. Often times a property may increase in value because of the strength of the local real estate market.