More than 1,300 owners due tax relief for tornado-damaged properties haven’t applied

More than 1,300 property owners in Montgomery County who likely experienced tornado damage in 2019 but haven’t asked for tax relief still have time to file an appeal.

Owners of tornado-damaged properties have until Aug. 23 to file a complaint with the Board of Revision to be eligible for a partial refund in the property taxes they pay this year, according to Montgomery County Auditor Karl Keith. The deadline was extended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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“No property owner should be stuck paying a full tax bill on a property that has been damaged or destroyed,” Keith said. “We want to get these property owners the refund they deserve, and we just need them to file an appeal to do so.”

More than 1,200 owners of properties with tornado damage have already received a deduction that reduced the taxable value of properties based on the severity of damage, according to the auditor’s office.

Keith sent letters earlier this month to 1,372 owners of properties identified by the auditor’s office as having experienced tornado damage, but who did not apply for the property tax relief program last year.

The letters included an appeal form and settlement agreement. Property owners who complete both forms and return them to the Board of Revision by the August 23 deadline.

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The auditor’s office is completing a property reappraisal this summer and appraisers have already established tentative new values for these properties. These new values take effect next year. The settlement agreement that was sent to eligible property owners shows the property’s current value, as well as its proposed lower value. The proposed lower value will account for damage incurred during last year’s tornadoes. Completing the agreement, along with an appeal form, allows the auditor’s office to lower the property’s value without a hearing.

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Property owners who disagree with the tentative new value on their settlement agreement are able to make a case for a different value, according to Keith. Those individuals can submit their Board of Revision appeal form with their opinion of value, and they will be scheduled for a hearing later this year.

The normal statutory deadline for filing property tax appeals is March 31. In April, Keith extended the Board of Revision appeal deadline after the Ohio General Assembly allowed the change in a COVID-19 emergency relief bill.

Property value dispute hearings resumed last month after the process was suspended in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Board of Revision received more than 960 appeal forms before the original March 31 deadline, according to the auditor’s office.

The Board of Revision is a body responsible for conducting hearings to determine the fair market value of property. The quasi-judicial board, comprised of representatives from the Montgomery County Commission, county treasurer, and county auditor.

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