With the calendar turning to 2016, it is time for property owners and tax jurisdictions to turn their attention to property valuations for the 2015 tax year. In Ohio, real property is taxed one year in arrears; that is, taxes for tax year 2015 are billed and paid during 2016. Value is determined as of January 1 of each year.

Parties wishing to contest the valuation of parcels of real property for 2015 must file a complaint with the auditor of the county in which the property is located. The complaint must be filed by March 31, 2016. It is not sufficient to mail the complaint by March 31; the complaint must actually be received by the auditor by March 31. Complaints that are received by the auditor after March 31 will be dismissed.

Preparing and filing complaints is not difficult, but it is considered the practice of law. Persons considering whether to file should engage an attorney licensed to practice in Ohio to review and sign the complaint form. Individuals may complete and file a complaint with respect to property for which they are the owners, but others, such as family members, trustees and employees of owners, run the risk of having a complaint dismissed.