Massive property value increase will hit different for taxpayers in Miamisburg schools, Greene County, Dayton

Projected historic property value increases in Montgomery and Greene counties will impact some taxing districts more than others because of the way property taxes are structured, according to local county auditors.

Taxpayers in Miamisburg schools and all school districts but one in Greene County for example will see an impact from the value increase more than other districts because the millage rate for most taxes there has dropped as low as it can go under Ohio law, a rule called the “20-mill floor.”

The Ohio Department of Taxation is recommending an average countywide property value increase of 37% for Montgomery County and 34% in Greene County in this year’s triennial revaluation. The actual percentage change will vary for each property, as will how that will impact taxes.

For some homes, this change could mean a tax increase of hundreds of dollars a year.

“It depends on many relative things. Some people may see an increase in value and a decrease in taxes,” said Larry Hartlaub, Montgomery County Auditor’s Office finance director.

By Ohio law, property in all counties is reappraised in cycles every six years, with property values updated every third year based on recent sales. The state’s recommendation is a guideline for county auditors as they estimate taxable values based on sales from 2022.

Once values are assessed, the county auditor will determine tax rates. This will include lowering the tax rate for most levies, which are designed to

collect a certain amount of money and will be adjusted downward based on value increases and new construction.

That doesn’t apply to some taxes for school districts at the 20-mill floor. The 20-mill floor stipulates that effective millage for certain school levies cannot fall short of 20 mills. Households in districts that have hit the 20-mill floor will pay more to their school districts as the value of their homes increase.

This just became the case this year for Miamisburg schools, and is true of every school districts in Greene County except for Bellbrook-Sugarcreek Schools.

Greene County Auditor David Graham said that once a district reaches the 20-mill floor, the tax rate reductions called for in Ohio law are no longer applied.

“This creates excess revenue that wouldn’t otherwise occur,” he said.

This will mean more money for these school districts as well.

“An increase in property values will provide much-needed relief as the district navigates its financial challenges. The proposed property tax increases could provide the district the opportunity to postpone a new money levy, benefiting taxpayers,” said Miamisburg Superintendent Laura Blessing. “The timing and amount of a new money levy request would be based upon the amount of the proposed property tax increases on the enhanced property assessments.”

There are other taxes that also don’t adjust downward as values increase. This includes certain county taxes, and “charter” taxes built into city charters including in Dayton, Miamisburg, Vandalia, Kettering and West Carrollton. For Dayton, the charter millage is 10 mills.

Proposed legislation

Amid massive projected property value increases in revaluations this year, lawmakers — urged largely by elected officials in Butler County — are considering a proposal to change how county auditors assess property. An Ohio house bill would slash record-high recommended property tax value and opt for a three-year average for county auditors to use as they reassess property, if passed.

The bill is getting hearings in the House, and was also submitted into the Senate version of the state budget.

“It could be a pretty big shift that we’re taking to ensure that our property owners are protected from these outrageous property valuations, which right now is dictated by an unelected bureaucrat in Columbus,” said bill sponsor state Rep. Thomas Hall, R-Madison Twp.

Opponents, including the County Auditor’s Association of Ohio, say the bill could create a negative impact on taxpayers.

“The solution is not to adjust the valuation process,” said Warren County Auditor Matt Nolan earlier this week during opponent testimony at the statehouse. “The solution, if we all agree one is needed, is in adjusting the rate side of the tax equation, not the value side.”

He said because of the 20-mill floor, a 30% increase in property values would result in a 3.6% increase in school taxes for Mason homeowners versus a 16.34% increase in taxes for Franklin schools taxpayers.

Hartlaub said the Montgomery County Auditor’s Office is awaiting the General Assembly’s approval of the state’s budget to proceed in its review of property values. He encouraged taxpayers who have questions about how their property is evaluated to reach out to the auditor’s office.

Property owners can also appeal decisions made about their property values through formal and informal processes, Hartlaub said.

According to the Montgomery County Treasurer’s Office, nearly 60 cents of every dollar paid in property taxes in Montgomery County went toward the taxpayer’s local school district. In 2022, more than $900 million in property taxes were collected in Montgomery County, the highest collection total on record for the county.

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