Ohio Changes Real Estate Tax Appeal Process
Ohio real estate owners take note: the Ohio Legislature has made changes to the appeal process.
THE "OLD" SYSTEM
1. Property Owner challenges county valuation of his/her real estate to the county Board of Revision.
2. The county Board of Revision renders a decision on the evidence presented at the hearing.
3. Property Owner, or any other complainant or counter complainant, can appeal that decision to either the local county court of common pleas or the Ohio Board of Tax Appeals ("BTA").
We have always recommended appealing to the BTA given their expertise, process, and costs.
WHAT IS THE BOARD OF TAX APPEALS?
"The Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) provides an expert forum outside the court system to resolve controversies between taxpayers and taxing authorities. The agency is an independent, quasi-judicial, single-purpose body. Three Board members ... are authorized to determine all appeals regarding questions arising under Ohio tax laws, other than estate taxes. BTA's staff includes five attorney examiners who manage cases and preside at evidentiary hearings to determine the facts of these cases as the basis for decisions taken by vote of the Board members, and a paralegal." More at: https://goo.gl/qSX76C
4. Assuming the appeal was made to the BTA, the BTA sets a case schedule for discovery, witness and evidence disclosure dates, and a hearing date. All evidence and arguments regarding the fair market value of the real estate is either presented in briefs to the BTA or through briefs and a hearing at the BTA.
5. Again, assuming the appeal was made to the BTA, the BTA renders a decision.
6. Any party to the BTA case could decide to either accept the BTA decision or appeal.
THE "OLD" SYSTEM OFFERED CHOICE
7. If appealed, the party could appeal to either the appropriate district court of appeal or directly to the Ohio Supreme Court. Here's a map of Ohio twelve district courts of appeal:
RECENT CHANGES IN OHIO LAW REMOVE THE CHOICE
The OHIO LEGISLATIVE SERVICE COMMISSION reports that an appellant can no longer appeal directly to the Supreme Court. Instead, the amendment "Removes the authority to bypass a Court of Appeals by appealing a decision of the Board of Tax Appeals directly to the Ohio Supreme Court; all appeals from BTA decisions would have to be made to a Court of Appeals (except for decisions on the BTA's small claims docket, which are conclusive and not appealable)." See https://goo.gl/4Xv7Rc, page 133.