THIS POST UPDATED TO REFLECT NEW INFORMATION JANUARY 2017
New values for Franklin County homeowners are set to be sent out in August. Those projections are likely to increase by at least 10%. Some areas will see a significant increase and some homeowners may seem shocked. Homes sold the latter half of 2016 were about 19% higher than the county's estimated value. That means that the real estate industry has outpaced the estimated value of the last reassessment in 2014. While this sounds good, it also means that the upcoming reassessment this year is likely to surprise some homeowners. READ MORE ABOUT THE INCREASE HERE:
Was your real estate tax bill too high in your opinion? Maybe there was an error? Faulty recording or some other issue that shows an error in your real estate tax? Your time to appeal is quickly coming to a close.
Real estate tax invoices are distributed December and January to evaluate with your property is appropriately valued. In Ohio, these are imposed based on the fair market value of the property itself. Even if you've already paid the first half for 2015, the tax can be recovered if it was paid on an overvalued property.
This is where the appeal can come in handy. In Ohio, the law requires the county auditors reappraise real estate every six years for calculating the value of the property. Well, a lot can happen in six years, making the real estate taxes either over or undervalued. Also, different regions of Ohio could be experiencing different market trends in real estate values, so while prices may have gone up in one area, values may have declined in another.
NEW DATES: If you feel that your home is overvalued the deadline for appeal is March 31, 2018. This deadline is for filing any formal complaints with the county auditor for the previous year. 2017 tax reports can be appealed between January 1, 2018 and March 31, 2018.
Appealing your real estate tax bill does more than simply reduce your annual taxes. It could reduce real estate taxes for several years in your area depending on where you are in the reevaluation process. It can affect your entire County and if the values are extremely skewed, could end up in a reevaluation of numerous properties.
If you plan to appeal, this can be a daunting task. It can help by utilizing the services of a professional with experience in navigating these appeals. First of all, you'll need to figure out if this makes basic economic sense. Here are some steps to take if you plan on appealing your high tax bill.
#1. Review the valuation that the county auditor has assigned to your property.
This evaluation will determine the market value, taxable value and effective tax rate. The market value is the basic value that the auditor feels your home is worth. The taxable value is 35% of that market value and the effective tax rate can be a little bit more complicated because the starting point tax rate is first reduced by certain deductions and then applied against the taxable value of the property. Once you have reviewed and have all of these figures in place you can file the appeal.
#2. File the appeal.
This is where getting a professional really comes in handy. For the Columbus area I can put you in touch with several reputable tax attorneys that can file a complaint with the auditor no later than the deadline. There are specifics that need to be included in the appeal and certain verbiage that will be required.
#3. Prepare for the hearing.
The Board of Revisions will find a hearing date in which the property owner will need to be present to give proper evidence of the fair market value of the home. As the homeowner, you'll need to gather information about the property including fair market value, any sale prices of the property, and appraisal and possible rental rates for comparable properties in the area.
#4. Attend the hearing.
Once the hearing is scheduled and you have everything prepared to present, the Board of Revision will listen to all facts and evidence in place and the reduction in taxable value of the property. It is at this point that it is out of your hands. It is up to the Board of Revision to make a decision.
Choosing to appeal your real estate tax bill is not something to take lightly but if you truly feel that your property is overvalued and you're simply paying too much in taxes, gather your information, head into your hearing with a strong case, and be confident about the reduction.
As a certified Realtor® for the top-rated Columbus Realty Firm - Vision Realty, with 32 years of dedicated real estate experience, I can help buyers, sellers, investors, short sale sellers and more find, sell or invest in the right property, at the right price, at the right time. Contact me anytime for updates and information on the Columbus OH Real Estate market.