At Fast Appraisals we are not real estate attorneys or tax attorneys and we do not 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.