CINCINNATI – Home values ââare up sharply this year in Ohio, which will likely lead to higher property tax bills.
But you still have two weeks to fight against your rise in valuation.
Homeowners across Ohio are complaining about their new real estate appraisals, in letters sent by their county auditors in the past three months.
Christie Comb’s home in Hamilton County has seen its value drop from $ 304,000 to $ 346,000 since the county’s last appraisal three years ago.
âI guess, like most people, ours has grown significantly,â Combs said.
Larry Dienger’s home in West Chester has also been hit by a huge increase.
âThe value of my home, as a percentage increase, has increased 36 percent,â he said.
But Cincinnati attorney Jeffrey Levine, of attorneys for Strauss Troy, says you may be able to lower that new value if you file an appeal with your county’s review board before March 31.
Levine says that unfortunately many challenges fail because homeowners make a common mistake when trying to dispute the valuation of their property.
They say, “Hey, look at my neighbor’s house, and it’s a lot less valuable than mine.”
But Levine says it rarely works because the values ââare based on recent sales, not your neighbor’s house that hasn’t sold for 10 years.
Rather, he says there are three ways to challenge your newfound worth.
How to challenge your new higher rating
1. If you have recently purchased your home for less than the auditor’s estimate in the past year, present the closing price to the board.
âThey will change it for what you paid for the property, almost every time,â he said.
2. Display nearby homes on the board that have recently sold for less than your home’s value.
âIf they sold their house down the street for $ 50,000 less than the auditor’s value of your property, you can show proof of that,â Levine said.
He says you have a strong case at this point.
3. Pay for a professional appraisal, proving that the county’s value is too high.
âIt requires a bit more risk,â he said, âbecause the owner is going to have to fork out a fee to pay the appraiser to do the appraisal.â
But if the appraiser finds that your home is really worth $ 20,000 less than the county’s new value, then you have a very strong case.
Finally, he says, if you perceive a major discrepancy that could increase your tax bill by several thousand dollars a year, it makes sense to hire a real estate lawyer to file the challenge for you.
It will cost money but could save money in the long run.
Levine says you don’t have to put together your complete file before the March 31 deadline. All you need to do is file your appeal before this date.
As always, don’t waste your money.
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