Both chambers of the Ohio legislature have passed Senate Bill 57, which aims to provide tax relief for property owners who have been harmed by the COVID-19 pandemic. This bipartisan legislation, which passed in the Ohio House and Senate with unanimous approval, is widely expected to be signed by Governor Mike DeWine in the near future.
Under Senate Bill 57, property owners may file “COVID-19 Complaints” for Tax Year 2020 with their local county auditor, however, property owners must come prepared with specific details: Merely alleging a general decline in a region’s economy or market conditions will not be enough for a reduced valuation. “COVID-19 Complaints” must state with particularity how the COVID-19 pandemic or a state COVID-19 order (including executive orders from the Governor, orders from the Ohio Director of Health or any other order issued by a state official or agency) caused a reduction in the value of a property. If a complaint meets this standard, then the county board of revision may value a property for tax purposes as of Oct. 1, 2020, instead of the Jan. 1, 2020 tax lien date. Gov. DeWine had not declared a State of Emergency because of COVID until March 9, 2020.
This new law has the potential to provide substantial relief for those properties that saw a decline in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We will be keeping a close watch on this bill and when it is expected to become law. If you have questions about Senate Bill 57 and how to file a COVID-19 complaint to benefit you and your business, contact KJK’s Litigation team.
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