Starting this month, Cuyahoga County (the County) begins the daunting task of reappraising every property in the County for the sexennial reappraisal due to be completed in 2024.
As required by state law, every county in Ohio is required to periodically update or reappraise the properties within their borders. The so-called triennial updates and sexennial reappraisals are scheduled on a rolling basis throughout the state, with counties being required to perform an update or reappraisal on the respective three and six-year intervals. The Ohio counties undergoing the sexennial reappraisal are:
Cuyahoga County properties were last updated in 2021, and the time for a full reappraisal has arrived.
Compared to the triennial updates, which only require the County to use statistical comparisons to update the value of properties, the sexennial reappraisal will see a small army of contracted appraisers visiting every property in the County to perform on-the-ground inspections and appraisals of properties.
The County notes that these contractors will be identified with county-issued photo ID, as well as vehicles marked in the front and rear windows as being a part of the reappraisal. As the presence of inspectors on or near properties may bring concern to some residents, the County is also notifying every local government and police force before reappraisal work begins in any specific jurisdiction so local authorities are prepared to answer questions, explain the work being done, and respond to any citizen concerns.
For most properties, the reappraisal will involve only a simple visual inspection of the property from the street, or even driving by, but for some, a more thorough visual inspection may be appropriate.
Upon completion of the reappraisal, updated valuations and assessments will be issued for all properties, and property taxes will be adjusted accordingly.
Values Have Changed Since 2018
This being the first sexennial reappraisal done since the COVID-19 pandemic, property valuations may be very different than they were six years ago, and many property owners may find themselves with sticker shock as to the new value of their property. While increased property values are not all bad – being a sign of a healthy economy and increased value to properties upon sale – the recent turbulence in the real estate market may make it harder to accurately anticipate a reappraised value. While the amount and direction of value change is going to be different for every property, the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index data for Cleveland indicates the property values may be increasing by 25% since the last update in 2018 and by 52% since the last sexennial reappraisal in 2018.
|S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index|
|S&P/Case-Shiller OH-Cleveland Home Price Index|
Review Your Valuations and Evaluate Future Plans
Prudent property owners should review the assessments and the property information for correctness and address any discrepancies informally within the time frames allotted by the County. For real estate and financial service professionals, reviewing assessment notices with clients is a great opportunity for a strategic discussion.
In the event you receive an updated valuation you feel to be inaccurate, there are several options available to contest the reappraised value.
First, the County will issue valuation notices and offer property owners the opportunity to review their valuations with County personnel. Cuyahoga County will likely send valuation notices in the late summer or early fall of 2024. If property owners are still not satisfied with their property tax valuations, a Complaint Against the Valuation of Real Property (Complaint) will need to be filed with the County Board of Revision (BOR). This Complaint process will cause the BOR to review the reappraised value in light of any new or additional information, and issue a decision based on evidence that the property owner, or qualified tenants, provide to the BOR.
If the BOR’s decision is unfavorable, property owners may appeal the decision to the Ohio Board of Tax Appeals, or the Court of Common Pleas.
House Bill 920
It is important to note that property tax values and property taxes do not increase at the same rate in Ohio due to tax reduction factors. In Ohio, every year the Ohio Department of Taxation calculates effective tax rates based on tax reduction factors that eliminate the effect of a change in the valuation of existing real property on certain voted taxes pursuant to R.C. 319.301, which was enacted by House Bill 920 in 1976.
For something as seemingly basic as the value of your property, the process of contesting the reappraised value can be more complicated than it seems. Also, sexennial reappraisals and triennial updates can heavily factor into the benefits of property tax incentives. Attorneys in KJK’s Real Estate Practice Group can assist in preparing for the upcoming sexennial reappraisal and explain what can be expected, as well as assisting in challenging inaccurate reappraised values upon its completion. Contact Rich A. Morehouse at RAM@kjk.com, or Jim Scherer at JJS@kjk.com to learn more.