Client Alerts

New Property Values? Time to Appeal

By: Bill J. Gagliano

About: Real Estate, Property Taxation, Abatements & Exemptions

The county-appraised values of all real estate in 24 Ohio counties, including all properties in Cuyahoga, Lake, Lorain, Portage, and Stark counties, were updated this past fall as part of Ohio’s statutory reappraisal process. These new values will be in place generally for the next 3 years. Many county-appraised real estate values have increased, potentially resulting in increased tax bills. Property owners who disagree with the county’s valuations have until March 31, 2016, to file complaints challenging the new valuations.

To maximize your chance of success, you should approach the filing of your complaint strategically and thoughtfully. There are nuances, best practices, and key pieces of information that can help you avoid wasting time while putting you in position to succeed. The real estate and tax practitioners at Ulmer & Berne have the experience and tools needed to estimate the correct fair market value of your property. To avoid wasting time and money, our experts help you reach an informed decision regarding whether or not filing a valuation challenge makes sense.

The protest process involves filing a complaint with the county board of revision, presenting your case and your evidence at a hearing, potential appeals, negotiations, and, ultimately, securing corrected bills and tax refunds. Collectively, our attorneys have decades of experience defending against valuation increases. For example, many of our attorneys hold considerable expertise representing local school districts in challenging property valuation increases based solely on public records or media reports. The public records and media reports that form the basis of the increased, county-appraised value may, and often do, contain incomplete or incorrect data.

If you are served with notice of a complaint this spring, both the timing of your response and the strategy behind that response are critical. A wide spectrum of properties can be impacted by increased property valuations. Our attorneys have experience in all forums throughout the state representing golf courses, nursing homes, low income housing projects, office buildings, manufacturing plants, supermarkets, office condominiums, hotels, and other commercial properties. That diverse base of experience allows our real estate and tax attorneys to fully understand the nuanced issues that can arise based on the type of property in question. Additionally, our attorneys use their experience to quickly analyze complex issues and form sound strategies that have a positive impact on the bottom line.

Successfully decreasing your tax burden and improving your bottom line can be transformational for businesses and individuals alike. Your friends in Ulmer & Berne’s tax and real estate departments are standing by to walk you through the process, help you form a sound strategy, and answer any questions you might have. We offer highly competitive fixed and contingent fee arrangements and pride ourselves on tailoring our services and expertise specifically to your needs.