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 :
- Steven Nowak, of Steve Nowak Law, (216) 201-9617,
- Karen Bauernschmidt, of Vorys Probate and Tax Group, (216) 479-6141, and
- Steve Gill, Property Tax Attorney at Sleggs, Danzinger & Gill, (216) 771-8990.
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.