Greene County: There is still time to file a complaint about your new home value

The deadline for Greene County residents to file a formal complaint over the new valuation of their property is March 31.

About 40,000 residents saw the value of their homes increase by double digit percentage points after a countywide reappraisal, according to data. In October, Greene County Auditor David Graham’s office had more than 1,000 requests for an informal review of those appraisals, he said.

Graham said complaints postmarked by March 31 will be considered for the formal complaint process. According to data from Graham’s office, about 220 formal complaints have been filed so far.

Graham said he expects between 300 and 350 complaints to be filed by the deadline.

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Ohio counties are required every six years to go through a reappraisal process in which the value of property in the county is determined for tax purposes. In between those formal reappraisals, the county does a statistical update every three years.

“My taxes go up just like everybody else’s (during the triennial and reappraisal process),” Graham said.

In this most recent reappraisal, property values went up 11%, or about $465 million.

Graham said he doesn’t have data for how many requests for informal review his office got during the last three-year update or during the last reappraisal.

During the last three-year update in 2017 there were 336 formal complaints. During the last reappraisal in 2014, there were 363 formal complaints reviewed by the Board of Revisions, according to data from the auditor’s office.

The complaint form is available on the county auditor’s website. That is the form complaints must come in. They can’t be a letter written to the auditor, Graham said.

“We don’t discuss taxes, it is only a valuation question,” Graham said. “We are to determine value and value only.”

The best form of evidence that those wanting to go through the Board of Revisions process can come armed with are sales of similar homes in the area. The board will look at sales in a person’s neighborhood to determine if the valuation is right.

Graham said his department’s website has information about home sales for Greene County residents to access. Graham said he doesn’t necessarily recommend paying an outside auditor to evaluate a property, but does recommend using any realtor friends to give some context on area home sales.

“That’s what we’re here for. If you feel your value is incorrect, I want you to take advantage of this system. That’s the reason this system exists,” Graham said. “But you have to offer evidence.”

Graham said Board of Revision meetings will have the option of being in-person or via Zoom. The meetings will take place in June, July and early August.

Of the 336 formal complaints filed in 2017 for 440 parcels of land, 51% of those complainants saw a reduction in their value, Graham said. If someone’s complaint is denied, Graham said his office will help residents appeal to the Board of Tax Revisions.

“I think the process is fair. I think we are open minded to what value is and I think we are able to evaluate evidence,” Graham said.

The reason homeowners might be seeing a double digit percent increase in their value is because this process hasn’t been done since 2014 and 2008, he said. After the recession, property owners saw their values decrease. Since the last reappraisal in 2014, property values and sales have been trending higher as the economy recovered, Graham said.

During the last reappraisal in tax year 2008, the property values went up about 10%, according to data from the auditor’s office. In the 2002 reappraisal, values went up 15%.

Graham said the low interest rates driving the housing market also have an impact on home sales and therefore have an impact on this most recent reappraisal.

“The housing market is totally different today than it was when many people bought their homes,” Graham said. “This current market is even hotter than it was pre-recession.”

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