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.