MEDINA COUNTY, OHIO – Medina County Treasurer John Burke is reminding taxpayers that March 31, 2017 is the last day to file an appeal to change your property values for the current tax bills with the Board of Revision (BOR). The tax bills that were sent out this year included new 2016 updated reappraisal values placed on your property by the County Auditor. Ohio Law requires the reappraisal of all property once every six years with an update three years after.
The new 2016 property values are based on an analysis of the prior three years’ sales trends and applied on a percentage basis by neighborhood and taxing district. Burke said “The average property value increased approximately 9% for residential homes and 5% for commercial properties. If you feel your new property value is too high, you can appeal it by completing a Board of Revision complaint form. But, preparing takes some time, so I suggest you begin now if you wish to appeal.”
The Board of Revision is made up of the County Auditor, County Treasurer and one County Commissioner or their designated representatives. The three BOR members hear complaints filed by taxpayers and make the decisions on any change to property values.
Treasurer Burke has been on the Board of Revision for 22 years and provided some tips for taxpayers who may want to file a complaint form.
Sometimes taxpayers ask him how they can tell if their property value is correct or fair. Burke recommends you look at the “total 100% appraised value” established by the County Auditor and ask yourself the following question: “Could I sell my house for the total property value that has been set by the Auditor?” If your answer is yes or you think you could sell it for more, then you should be satisfied with your new updated value. If your answer is no, you can look for comparable sales and appeal your value to the Medina County Board of Revision.
“It is important that you provide evidence that indicates the true value of your home or property. The best evidence is comparable sales or transfers that have occurred close to January 1 of the tax year 2016,” he noted.
Ohio law requires the County Auditor to appraise property values based on the estimated fair market value. Burke clarified that the fair market value is the price that your property would be expected to sell for on the open market between an “informed and willing” buyer and seller.
Burke noted the burden of proof lies with the complainant to establish market value. “Remember that your evidence presented to the BOR must pertain to the property value not the taxes or tax rates.”
A private appraiser can determine the market value but there is normally a fee for this service. Another approach is the market comparison in which the taxpayer researches property transfers or sales of homes over the past few years that are similar to their house. These are comparable sales and a simple way to compare values is to first calculate the price per square foot by dividing the sales price with the total square footage of living space. The taxpayer can then take the County Auditor’s appraised value of their property and divide it by the total square footage and compare it.
Burke said, “I encourage taxpayers who file a BOR appeal to find 3 or 4 properties that have been sold for a square foot price less than the square foot price of their home.” The BOR rules state that the Auditor may present similar comparable sale values at the BOR hearing. The taxpayer can ask up to 10 days in advance of the hearing date for the Auditor’s comparable sales to review them before the hearing.
Taxpayers can obtain a BOR complaint form at the County Auditor’s Office in the County Administration Building 144 N. Broadway Street in Medina or by downloading the form (DTE Form 1) online at the Auditor’s website. Complete the form, have it notarized and deliver it to the Auditor by March 31, 2017. If mailing it in make sure it is post marked by March 31st. You will be notified of a hearing date.
The Treasurer’s office can be reached by calling 330-725-9748, sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by stopping by the office in the County Administration Building.