If you filed a 2017 tax year valuation complaint in an Ohio county board of revision, then you will receive a hearing notice. If you are not familiar with the board of revision hearing process, here is some good information provided by the Franklin County Board of Revision office.
The photo above shows the lay out of a typical hearing room. For instance, the three Board of Revision members sit on one side of the table and the property owner and, if present, the school board sit on the other side.
WHAT TO EXPECT AT A BOARD OF REVISION HEARING REAL PROPERTY TAX VALUATION CASES
When entering the hearing room, please sit in the gallery seating [in the row at the rear of the room]. When it is time for your hearing, the officers will ask you to move to the front. While you wait, please review the following information to familiarize yourself with the Board of Revision (BOR) hearing procedures.
A BOR hearing is very similar to a court trial, with witnesses, exhibits and rules of practice and procedure. [However, the BOR hearing is much less formal.]
You will need to turn off your cell phone(s) as hearings are recorded.
WHO IS PRESENT?
A panel comprised of three hearing officers representing the Auditor, the Board of Commissioners and the Treasurer.
The parties to a complaint may include a property owner, his legal representative and/or the board of education legal representative.
[The hearing will be recorded or transcribed so that everyone will know exactly what occurred should the BOR decision be appealed.]
A hearing officer introduces the case and then asks that you provide your name.
As the party who filed the appeal ("appellant"), you will present your case first, providing all evidence and testimony you have to offer in support of the valuation you seek.
Any individual who testifies will be sworn in as witness.
All documents submitted for evidence will be marked and will remain with the board. [So, bring extra copies.]
At the conclusion of your presentation, you may be asked questions ("cross-examined") by the remaining parties' counsel or the hearing officer.
HOW LONG IS THE HEARING?
The hearing lasts on average about 10 to 15 minutes. There are circumstances where cases can run 30 minutes to an hour. [More complicated cases last longer. A "simple" case is a recent, arm's-length residential sale case where the property owner has presented all the appropriate documents evidencing the sale. A "complicated" case could be a large commercial property where one or more appraisers provide testimony.]
WHEN WILL A DECISION BE MADE?
After the BOR hearing is concluded, both the record of the BOR proceedings, which will include the testimony offered and any exhibits that were received into evidence will be considered by the three members of the Board of Revision who will issue their decision, by mail, to all parties. Additional information may be requested by the board at the hearing. You will be given sufficient time to submit the paperwork requested. [Some boards of revision make decisions more quickly than others. Some cases lend themselves to a quick decision. In Hamilton County, for example, you can expect to receive the Board's decision before you leave the County building.]
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I AM NOT SATISFIED WITH THE BOR DECISION?
An appeal from a decision of the county Board of Revision may be taken to the Ohio Board of Tax Appeals or the Court of Common Pleas within 30 days after notice of the decision of the BOR is mailed. You may request an appeal form from the Board of Revision or download one online in the "Form Center" at www.franklincountyauditor.com.
If an appeal is necessary, our office typically appeals to the Board of Tax Appeals. There are a variety of reasons for doing so. Contact me if you'd like to know more.
Good luck and call or write if you have any questions.
Copyright © 2017 by Steve Nowak
Disclaimer: The contents of this post is intended to convey general information only and not to provide legal advice or opinions. The contents of this post, and the posting and viewing of the information on this blog should not be construed as, and should not be relied upon for, legal or tax advice in any particular circumstance or fact situation. This blog post is intended to inform the general public of its legal rights. No formal legal action should be taken in reliance on the information contained in this blog post and I disclaim all liability in respect to actions taken or not taken based on any or all of the contents of thisblog postto the fullest extent permitted by law. An attorney should be contacted for advice on specific property or specific property tax appeal.
Photo credit: Famartin (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons