Wednesday, 02 August 2023

Contact: Caroline Licata

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(330) 643-8472

Property values in Summit County are set to rise by historic amounts next year after the Ohio Department of Taxation ordered a 34% increase countywide. This is not unique to Summit County, as the Department of Taxation has ordered counties across the state to increase values as much as 43%. It is important to note that the state of Ohio, through the tax commissioner, has the complete authority to accept or deny a county’s submitted abstract of real property value.

Thankfully, the state accepted Summit County’s proposed value abstract with a lower countywide average increase of 31.4%. Updated valuations are being mailed to property owners beginning this week.

Per Ohio law, the county auditor or fiscal officer is tasked with setting the market value of properties every six years, which was done in 2020 for Summit County, with an update every three years. The sexennial reappraisal is more comprehensive, while the triennial update relies entirely on home sales data.

My office determines the appraised market value of properties. The homeowner will pay property taxes on the assessed value, which is 35% of the appraised value. Property taxes are calculated based on unvoted (inside levies) and voted levies (fixed sum, fixed-rate levies), which are approved by voters to generate a specific amount of money.

Prior to 2020, the state permitted counties to use sales data from the three previous years. In 2020, and again in 2023, the state instructed counties to consider only sales data from the year immediately preceding the tax lien date. By requiring one year only, my office was authorized to use approximately 6,400 sales throughout the county as opposed to three years of sales or approximately 20,100 transactions.

Please recognize that by law, my office sets your property’s market value. My office does not determine the amount of property taxes to be assessed. Voted and unvoted levies, coupled with effective tax rates and reduction factors applied by the state will determine the actual amount of property tax. My office anticipates receiving effective tax rates from the state in late December.

In 1976, legislators passed House Bill 920, which was designed to keep tax revenues stable when property values increase or decrease by adjusting levies. As a result, property taxes do not increase proportionately when values increase. I understand the potential financial impact this triennial update may have on our community. My office will be hosting informational meetings throughout the county to address concerns regarding your new valuation. I strongly encourage property owners to schedule an appointment with one of my appraisers, either virtually, by phone, or in person at one of the public outreach meetings. Meetings can be scheduled by visiting my website or calling 330-643-2710. After meeting with a staff appraiser, If you are not in agreement with your new value, homeowners can file a complaint with the Summit County Board of Revision.

When a complaint is filed, the Board of Revision will hold a hearing, consider all testimony or evidence provided, and issue a decision on whether an adjustment should be made to the property valuation. The strongest types of evidence to support a value change are a private appraisal, evidence of property damage and or condition, comparable sales or a final purchase agreement.

Property owners who wish to dispute their 2023 property value may file a complaint form with the Board of Revision beginning Jan. 1 through March 31.

Kristen M. Scalise is the Summit County Fiscal Officer, an elected role in county government.