Higher 2017 Montgomery County property values — the biggest gains since 2005 — also meant possible property tax increases for many, prompting 7,000 calls to a hotline, 3,300 one-one-one review meetings and 2,700 formal value complaints with the Montgomery County Auditor’s Office.
But efforts by the office to help property owners through the valuation process have earned the county recognition for community outreach from the National Association of Counties (NACo).
“Our goal was to engage property owners in the property valuation process in a way that few counties do,” said Montgomery County Auditor Karl Keith. “We wanted to go above and beyond to give property owners a voice in the determination of their new property values.”
Keith’s office estimates it reached property owners on average four times each during the 2017 triennial update, which showed values rebound from one of the worst declines since the Great Depression.
In addition to the hotline and one-one-one meetings, the community engagement campaign involved video advertising, mailed notices and more than 50 community presentations involving dozens of county employees.
The NACo 2018 Achievement Award for community outreach the will be presented in July during the association’s annual conference in Tennessee.
Because of a revived local housing market, more than 60 percent of Montgomery County residential properties were valued higher last year than during the most recent review in 2014. The increase represented “a significant turnaround for the county,” Keith said.
Altogether, home values climbed 6 percent countywide, helping buoy a nearly $1.2 billion market gain since 2014. Property values rose or held even in all but four of Montgomery County’s 28 jurisdictions. More than half the gains came in Dayton’s southern suburbs, according to the auditor’s office.
“This is good news for the community as a whole as it reflects on the state of our overall economy,” Keith said when releasing results last year. “This growth is a very positive sign and indicates that we are indeed back on track.”
The gain in values countywide increased the unvoted portion of property taxes for some. The owner of a $100,000 house that increased in value 6 percent from the last review will pay about $19 a year more this year. That homeowner was paying about $306. The inside millage accounts typically for about 10 percent of an overall property tax bill, according the auditor’s office.
The review process began in early 2017 with a sales analysis. Final values were determined late last year.
During the 3,300 informal one-on-one parcel reviews, about 48 percent had values reduced, another 48 percent went unchanged and 4 percent increased.
While the deadline has passed for formal complaints to be filed, the Board of Revision will continue hearing those cases through the end of 2018.
Montgomery County is one of 116 counties nationwide and one of just four in Ohio to receive 2018 honors.
The county is receiving three awards. In addition to the auditor’s office, the county’s Community Overdose Action Team won an award for human services. Montgomery County Development Services won in the community and economic development category for the MicroEnterprise Demonstration Grant program.