No one should pay more than their fair share of taxes.
In Ohio, if you think your 2017 tax year real property taxes were set too high, you have until March 31, 2018 to challenge the county's value.
If you have not challenged your real estate valuation in three or more years, then you might be missing an opportunity to save money.
In Ohio, real estate is valued by the local county auditor (or by the Fiscal Officer in Cuyahoga or Summit Counties). Each property owner is issued a tax bill that assesses the real estate by a certain percentage set by the county and approved by the State of Ohio's Department of Taxation.
Ohio's 88 counties either reappraise or revalue each parcel of land every three years. To get the most out of a tax valuation challenge (i.e., offset the legal and appraisal fees that might be necessary to have your real property's value lowered), it's best to file a complaint in the first year of your county's trienium. Click here for the State of Ohio's calendar of reappraisals and update years. However, if you have a case for a reduction, you should carefully consider challenging the value as soon as possible regardless of whether the case will impact one year or all three years in the triennium.
Sometimes, it can be difficult to know if your real estate is overvalued. To make that decision you need some knowledge of the market place, your property's income, and/or recent sales of similar properties.
First and foremost, ask yourself if you could realistically sell your property for the amount of money your county has it valued for. If you are informed and think you can get that value in a sale, your real estate might be fairly and reasonably valued. If your reaction is that there is no way you could sell for the property for that amount, you could be overvalued.
It's very easy to determine if your overvalued if you have either recently purchased the property or have had a recent appraisal done. If the sale price or the appraised value is lower that the County’s 100% fair market value, you have a pretty good indication that you should consider filing a complaint.
A few other red flags that might indicate your property is overvalued: (1) you've listed your property for sale at an amount near the county's value for several months and you have received any interest, (2) the property is losing money year-after-year, or (3) your vacancy rates are high and worsening no matter what efforts you make.
As with most things, its best to consult an expert to get an opinion of value. Who can you go to? Consider anyone knowledgeable about real estate in your area. Contact a broker or an appraiser. Ask them to provide you with an informal opinion of value and offer to compensate them for their time and expertise. Do not hold them to an estimate of value!
Good luck and call or write if you have any questions!
Copyright © 2017 by Stephen M. Nowak