Cuyahoga County Tax Appeal Appraisal Cuyahoga County Tax Appeals

Cuyahoga & Lake County 6 Year Reappraisal

Letter From Owner and Lead Appraiser

We have been answering calls non-stop regarding the Cuyahoga and Lake counties tax re-assessments so thank you for your patience for those of you who could not get thru.
 
The informal appeal process ends the end of this month, however we have heard that the county may extend this another month. Fingers crossed, as we know many homeowners have not had enough time to get in their appraisal orders.  However, if you miss the deadline to informally appeal your tax reappraisal value with the County Fiscal Officer, you will still have a chance to appeal through the Cuyahoga County Board of Revisions after the first of the year.  It is critical homeowners continue to pay property taxes throughout the dispute process as late fees and penalties will not go away - even if you win your case down the road.
 

Property Valuation Increase Will Not Always Lead to Property Tax Increase

Be advised that just because you have an assessment increase  increase does not mean that your taxes will go up.  That will depend on if your neighbors assessment also went up.  If everyone's house values went up the same percentage, in theory, you will not see a tax increase, for the most part.    (see Reappraisal FAQs on Cuyahoga County's website)
 

Do You Have a Case for Successful Complaint Challenge?

We believe the county's assessment process to be a fair one, but with mass data appraisals, some homeowners will get lost in the shuffle.  We are finding the most dramatic variances between county and actual values are for those homes which are in below average condition, or in need of repair.  However, the burden is on the homeowner to provide evidence for their case.  We have decades of experience dealing with the county and the Board of Revisions process and do not believe the county is "out to get people," but instead that they mostly act as an independent third party on behalf of local governments.
 
By clicking on our tax appeal tab, answering some questions, and emailing pictures of your home, we can help decide if you have a case for a successful complaint challenge. Remember, all property owners will still have an opportunity to challenge their value with the Cuyahoga County Board of Revision regardless of the outcome of their informal valuation challenge. The Board of Revision will generally accept complaints filed between January 1st and March 31st in 2019.
 

Legal Professionals Can Help

If you don't want to deal with paperwork and logistics, are concerned about procedural issues and/or have too much on the line, we do work with three law professionals that  may be able to help you.  They work on contingency or flat fee depending on your situation and we have had great success with them.  They are :
 
All of these tax appeal law professionals also represent matters of commercial property tax appeals as well - while our appraisal company specializes entirely in residential properties.
 

We look forward to helping homeowners address their concerns over the next few months to get the value straight and help the process.

 
Kind regards,
 
Mike Neimeier
CRA
Property Tax Appeal Cuyahoga County Tax Appeals

Property Taxes in These Cleveland Suburbs Could Be Increasing

A recent article in the Cleveland Plain Dealer,  One city, one village and 7 school districts ask Cuyahoga County voters for tax increases, explains the reason for potential property taxes based on outcome of May 2nd primary election.

Cuyahoga County Property Tax Appeal 

With property taxes being based on the home's assessed value, it's common when homeowners get a higher property tax bill to look more closely at the county's assessed value. When a home owner thinks the tax assessment is too high they can order a tax appeal appraisal to be used as evidence for requesting a deduction in their tax assessed value, which will in turn reduce their property tax bill.  At Fast Appraisals we not only perform the tax appeal appraisal, we have also been in front of the Cuyahoga County Board of Tax Appeals many times in order to explain our valuation.  

Is Your Tax Assessment Value too High?

Of course there are no guarantees that our valuation will be lower than the valuation made by the county, so we do brief preliminary research and ask the home owner some key questions before moving forward with the home appraisal appointment.  Some key questions might include:

  1. Why do you think the property value assessed by the county is too high?
  2. Have homes similar to yours been selling for substantially less than the tax assessed value?
  3. Do you think it would be reasonable to sell your home for the value assessed by the county?
    1. If not, why - has there been damage to your home or substantial deferred maintenance the county may not be aware of i.e. flood damage, mold issues, outdated/dysfunctional kitchen or bath, foundation issues, etc?
  4. Has there been factors negatively impacting your neighborhood - vacant homes, foreclosed homes, etc?

If your home has not suffered from damage, deferred maintenance or neighborhood factors that would make selling the house at its tax assessed value near absurd and if other homes similar to yours, within a few miles, and in similar condition, are selling for the tax assessed value, it is unlikely that the county has over-valued your home.

 

Cleveland Suburbs Affected By Potential Property Tax Increases

Property Tax Appeal

Cleveland Suburbs Affected:

According to the article, if the tax increases are voted in, the following Cleveland suburbs would be affected:

Walton Hills, Ohio

If the tax issue is voted through in Walton Hills home owners would see their property tax bill increase by $175 per $100,000 in home value beginning in 2017 which would last for four years.

Brecksville-Broadview Heights, Ohio

If the tax issue is voted through in Brecksville-Broadview Heights residents would experience an increase of $210 annually per $100,000 of  their tax-assessed home value beginning in 2017.

Brooklyn, Ohio

If the tax issue is voted through in Brooklyn home owners would pay an additional $17.50 per $100,000 in tax assessed home value also to take effect in 2017.

Chagrin Falls, Ohio

If the tax issue is voted through in Chagrin Falls property owners would be asked to pay an additional $311.50 for each $100,000 in their home's value meaning a home with a tax assessed valuation of $300,000 would experience an annual increase of $934.50 in their property tax bill.

North Royalton, Ohio

If North Royalton residents approve the tax issue their property taxes will increase by $171.50 per $100,000 in the tax assessed value performed by the property appraisal department in Cuyahoga County.

Parma, Ohio

According to the article Parma's schools are still facing a huge budget gap and the proposed ten year property tax increase of $206.50 per $100,000 in tax assessed valuation, to start in 2017, would be designed to rectify the gap.  The article has conflicting information - at one point referring to the tax increase as lasting for ten years while also referring to it as lasting for an indefinite period. Read more about Parma's property values.

Rocky River, Ohio

Although Rocky River voters approved a tax increase in 2012 the district is asking voters to approve an additional increase beginning in 2017 of $171.50 per $100,000 of property tax assessed value. A home assessed at $300,000 in Rocky River would see a property tax increase of $514,40 per year.

Shaker Heights, Ohio

Voters in Shaker Heights approved an operating tax increase only three years ago for renovating the school buildings but the district is proposing a property tax increase of $131.25 per $100,000 of the home's value to raise another $30 million.

 

 

Appealing Property Tax Cuyahoga County Tax Appeals

Property Tax Assessment: How to Challenge the Value &…

Appealing Property TaxAt Fast Appraisals we are not attorneys, nor do we represent the government in anyway (other than being licensed by the state of Ohio), however over the decades of doing home appraisals for tax appeals we have gathered enough expertise to warrant sharing with homeowners who feel their home’s tax assessed value is too high.

Ohio Property Tax Process

Ohio’s real property tax, an ad valorem tax, or based on value, has been imposed since 1825 – making it the oldest tax in Ohio.  In order to determine how much each property owner must pay, a system of local county auditors assess the value of real property throughout the state and according to state law, conduct full reappraisals of real property every six years as well as update values each third year following the sexennial reappraisal.  What this means for the home owner is that if your property value assessment is substantially higher than what it’s worth during one of these updates, and you successfully appeal the tax assessed value, your property taxes will be based on the lower value for a full three year period, until a new assessment (assuming you make no substantial improvements to the property during that period).

Cuyahoga County: Tax Appeal

The last full reappraisal in Cuyahoga county was done in 2012 and as of February of 2013 the county was still buried in tax appeal cases according to the article “Ohio Board of Tax Appeals still backlogged with Cuyahoga County property value complaints.”  Home owners, and other property owners in Cuyahoga county, can expect their property values to be updated by the Cuyahoga County Auditor in 2015.  If you feel your assessed value exceeds the market value getting it appealed can reduce your property tax bill for the next three years. A fairly impartial article can be found in This Old House Magazine, “How to Dispute Your Property Taxes.” Their advice is to first call the assessor’s office to determine how long you may have to appeal the property value assessment. Cuyahoga County’s Board of Revision is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and can be reached at 216-443-7195.

Cuyahoga County Filing Deadline and Tax Appeal Process

According to their site, Cuyahoga County only accepts complaints from January 1st through the Ohio Revised Code deadline date of March 31. All complaints must be filed with the Board of Revision by that date or be postmarked by March 31 to be accepted.  The DTE 1 Form, or “Complaint Against the Valuation of Real Property” must be filled out.  During the completion of this form you are asked to list, in line 9, your reasons why you feel the tax assessed property value is incorrect.  The burden of proof rests entirely on the homeowner.  In Line 13 you are asked if you will be presenting the testimony of a professional appraiser.

Getting an Appraisal for a Tax Appeal

At FAST Appraisals we recommend that you get a property appraisal before filing the DTE 1 Form with Cuyahoga county’s Board of Revision.  By having the appraisal report included with your DTE 1 Form the county’s appraisers can quickly research the data presented in the appraisal report prepared by FAST Appraisals and make a more immediate decision to either agree with our value assessment or request more supporting data.  In most cases of successful tax appeals, the county was inadvertently including higher sales in your area that are not comparable to your property, or they were unaware of damage in the home and other factors that would impact the home’s value.  Once they view the appraisal report prepared by FAST Appraisals they can quickly compare it with the data they had compiled and make a determination on your tax appeal.  To order an appraisal for a tax appeal use our web order form or call our Cleveland office at 216-932-4663.

Tax Appeal Cuyahoga County
Cuyahoga County Tax Appeal Form
Tax Appeal: an Appraisers Perspective Cuyahoga County Tax Appeals

The Property Tax Appeal Process: An Appraiser’s Perspective

Tax Appeal: an Appraisers PerspectiveCuyahoga County Board of Tax Appeals

For my first blog post I wanted to share my experiences with the  Cuyahoga County Board of Tax Appeals.  One of the many reasons a consumer may request an appraisal of their home  is to appeal their tax valuation, or the value at which the property has been assessed for property tax purposes.  As a Licensed Real Estate Appraiser I prepare many appraisal reports for home owners who intend to submit the appraisal to the county for an appeal of their tax evaluation. When the board has questions about the report submitted, I will occasionally be called-in to explain the report and justify the approach I used to reach the appraised value.

After presenting a few comments about my credentials, and how I arrived at the property valuation contained in the report, I am generally asked a few reasonable questions.  In this capacity, as an expert property appraiser, my objective is to keep my answers brief and direct, as to not waste the board’s time.

Multi-Family Property Appraisal in Lakewood, Ohio

This most recent experience was regarding a four-family home in Lakewood, Ohio – typically a more complicated report than a single-family appraisal.  The tax appeal process seemed very fair and reasonable.  The Cuyahoga County Board of Tax Appeals was made up of experienced board members who asked pertinent appraisal questions concerning the residential appraisal report in question.  I was also impressed to learn they now have property appraisers on staff, as well as access to the property database known as the MLS (Multiple Listing System or Multiple Listing Service).

The board was professional, and as a long-time residential property appraiser,  I found the whole process to be effective.

Doing real estate appraisals for almost 20 years throughout Cuyahoga and surrounding counties, as well as being a real estate investor in the Greater Cleveland area over the years, I have both professional and real-world experience.  This experience adds to the credibility of my report as well as to the confidence with which I address the board when I think that the customer’s house has been over-valued by the county and is paying too much for taxes.

The purpose of a well-researched appraisal report, is to compile the relevant data to support that conclusion and save the tax-payer money.  The board is not there to argue, but to simply ask reasonable questions as to the conclusions made in the report in order to fulfill their job of representing the other tax payers and the rest of their community.

Use of Short-Sales or Foreclosures in Tax Appeals

Recently, I found that the board should not reject short sales or foreclosed sale transactions when assessing a home’s value.  However, it’s the job of the Appraiser to examine how these transactions fit into the big picture and justify their opinion with real data and supporting expertise.  I would not suggest to any home-owner, or property appraiser, to approach a tax-appeal with all short sale transfers or foreclosures.

Overall, from this Property Appraiser’s perspective, a thumbs-up to the system of the tax appraisal and appeals process – specifically with the Cuyahoga County Board of Tax Appeals.

Please comment below about your experiences at the board, or feel free to ask questions.

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