Recently, Cuyahoga County Councilwoman Shontel Brown was the featured guest speaker at ACAR’s Legislative Committee meeting. The hot topic of the day was the recent sexennial reappraisal process. Below are questions that Councilwoman Brown either addressed or asked Dan Harbaugh, Director of Real Estate Appraisal for the Cuyahoga County Fiscal Office, to answer. To learn more about the reappraisal process, which is mandated by the Ohio Revised Code, or read the original press release, click here.
Please clarify the correlation between the new property valuation to property taxes. For example, is it true that if a municipality’s overall valuation increases 15% and a homeowner’s property also increases by 15% then the homeowner will not see an increase in their property taxes?
Be careful how this is discussed. Levies and bond issues, etc., would certainly change someone’s taxes. During the 1970’s, legislation was passed statewide and can be described commonly as a tax reduction factor (HB920). It was designed to keep tax revenues stable when property values increase or decrease. The factor prevents taxes from dramatically decreasing when property values were on the decline and will now keep taxes from significantly increasing despite rising property values. This reduction factor keeps revenue to the schools, cities, libraries, etc. at nearly the same level as originally approved by the voters. A portion of your tax rate is not affected by the tax reduction factor and will result in a slight increase in your tax bill.
Where can I learn more about HB 920?
The Cuyahoga County Fiscal Office has information here.
Are CMA’s acceptable documents for disputes?
The notice that was sent to all taxpayers very specifically lists the types of documentation to facilitate a review. However we will accept anything, including a CMA. This will allow us to take a second look at the value we have proposed. We have a very short window to review what likely will be about 35,000 Informal Valuation Complaints and we feel the data we have requested will expedite this process. This is done as a courtesy as it is in most counties. The Informal Review is not statutorily required.
What constitutes as “expertise” for the valuation?
Over forty State Licensed and Certified Appraisers set the valuations.
Who were the experts and what formula did they use?
To learn more, please review the attached presentation.
Where can people find the municipalities overall valuation to compare their property?
See the maps on the Fiscal Website. The majority of the internal analysis and development was done in-house among 10 principal appraisal department staff with 200+ years of combined experience.
There was also an inquiry about this creating an impact resulting in escrow shortages as well as modifications on HUD property which are based on seniors citizens and other individuals with low/fixed incomes. Please explain if there will be an impact and what that could potentially be.
We are statutorily tasked with setting the Fair Market Value of all property in Cuyahoga County. While we are very cognizant of this issue, it is not a factor that will influence the results of a Fair Market Value determination.
Since the Homestead Exemption has been removed there was also a question about how this might affect the property taxes? There is concern that this might create an even greater hardship.
The reappraisal does not have anything to do with the homestead exemption nor is it removed as a result. Please reach out to Donna Carter, Director of Real Property for any questions regarding the Homestead Exemption.
Any additional helpful links to share?