Cuyahoga County Tax Appeal Appraisal Cuyahoga County Tax Appeals

Cuyahoga & Lake County 6 Year Reappraisal

(updated content for disputing tax valuation from Cuyahoga County in 2021):

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
Appealing Lake County Ohio Tax Bill Lake County Ohio Tax Appeal

Lake County: Appealing Your Tax Assessed Property Value

Appealing Lake County Ohio Tax BillIn the state of Ohio county auditors are responsible for assessing the market value of each land parcel to determine the amount at which the owner is charged a property tax.  As any home owner knows it’s this revenue that in large part goes to pay for the necessities of running a safe and welcoming community and contribute to funding the expense of schools and other local services. In accordance with Ohio State Taxation Rules each county is required to assess property values on a six year cycle, commonly referred to as the reappraisal and update schedule.

The teams of property appraisers at Fast Appraisals and Cleveland Home Appraisals frequently receive appraisal requests from homeowners wishing to contest the county’s property appraised value.  Although each county has a unique process, and each process is subject to change as counties seek more efficient ways to assess property values and manage property value appeals, we have attempted to provide some resources for homeowners in the areas we service: Cuyahoga, Lorain, Lake, Medina, Summit, Portage, Geauga and Ashtabula counties.  This post should provide the basic knowledge for a homeowner in Lake County, Ohio who wishes to appeal, or contest, their recent Lake County Property Appraisal from the Lake County Auditor’s Office.

Contesting your Lake County, Ohio Property Value

Home owners in Lake County can expect their triennial property tax update in the fall of 2015 and their next reappraisal in the fall of 2018.  The last full reappraisal in Lake County was completed in 2012 (read   Lake County reports drop in residential, commercial property values for more details).  At that time the Lake County Auditor’s Office made the following process available to homeowners for contesting, or appealing, their property valuations:

1.     Receive Notifications from Lake County Auditor’s Office

Homeowners received notifications by mail with new estimated market value (late November). Currently the Auditor’s Office is not providing details of when 2015 notices will arrive, other than to say they have been told it will be in the fall.  It’s important to note these new valuations will be reflected in 2016 tax bills.  Valuations reflect what the Lake County Auditor’s Office considers the new estimated market value of a property as of Jan. 1, 2015.  This value will determine the taxable amount until the next reappraisal in 2018.  Likewise, a successfully appealed value will also determine the taxable amount for the next three years.

2.     Informal Hearing to Provide Evidence for Appeal

Unlike Cuyahoga county, which gives the home owner an opportunity to supply evidence (i.e. recent property appraisal or sales information) to file a property value appeal on line or by mail, Lake County typically schedules a one week window for informal hearings during which the home owner can bring their evidence in-person to contest the new property valuation.  Notice of where and when these hearings will take place should accompany the new valuations and be available by calling the Lake County Auditor’s Office at 440-350-2532. If you wish to contest your value and supply a recent appraisal as evidence, it is imperative to order an appraisal as soon as possible in order to have the evidence for your hearing.

3.     Missed the Hearing? Filing a Formal Complaint

Although attending the scheduled informal hearings is recommended to avoid further delays in an accurate property assessment and therefore an accurate property tax bill, if you miss the window to attend a hearing for contesting your property value, you can file a formal complaint between 1/1/16 and 4/1/16. Filing a formal complaint with the Lake County Board of Revisions (BOR) should be done as early in the year as possible in order to allot for the time to go through the procedures set by the three-member panel.  More details can be found in this article Board of Revision aiming to settle property value disputes or by calling the Lake County Auditor’s Office.

4.     Still Not in Agreement with your Property Valuation?

If a homeowner is still not in agreement with the Lake County BOR’s property value assessment, they can use DTE FORM 4, Notice of Appeal to the Board of Tax Appeals from a Decision of a County Board of Revision, to file complaints with the Ohio Board of Tax Appeals within 30 days of receiving the BOR’s decision.  It’s important to note that you must receive a decision from the Lake County Board of Revisions first in order to take your appeal to the State of Ohio as the instructions on DTE Form 4 are to include the County BOR’s decision, as well as evidence to support your appeal (i.e  qualifying appraisal).

Contact FAST Appraisals for Supporting Evidence

If you feel that your property has been assessed inaccurately by Lake County and you would like supporting evidence to contest your home’s valuation, contact FAST Appraisals, or Cleveland Home Appraisals, right away.  Contact us by phone, at 216-932-4663, or use the form on Tax Appeal Appraisal web page and we will call you to discuss your tax appeal appraisal needs.

Tax Appeal: an Appraisers Perspective Cuyahoga County Tax Appeals

The Property Tax Appeal Process: An Appraiser’s Perspective

Cuyahoga County Board of Tax Appeals

(Recent update to tax appeal content: 2021 Cuyahoga County Tax Appraisals)

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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