How to challenge my property taxes

Time for taxes also means it is time to challenge them. Unlike the IRS, with your local taxes you can and should challenge them.

As of January 1st, the Board of Revisions is accepting complaint applications on assessed home values. This is an important tool for landlords throughout Lorain County (and Northeastern Ohio) since assessed home values determine the amount of property taxes you will be responsible for. Property taxes are figured by multiplying the tax rate by the assessed value of the property. This is often referred to as the taxable value. With the down market throughout Lorain County, many landlords may feel the assessed values on their rentals, as well as their property taxes are too high. The Board of Revisions allows landlords the opportunity to appeal their assessed home value with the possibility of their properties being re-evaluated.

If you want to contest the assessed value of your property, you can do so by filing a Complaint Against the Valuation of Real Property on the DTE Form 1, which can be found on the Lorain County Auditor website ( http://rtsl.us/bnkh). This form must be filled out properly, signed and notarized. Filling anything out incorrectly, not signing it, or not getting it notarized will result in it being discarded and then you will have to start over. All complaints have to be filled between January 1st and March 31st. It is also important to note that you can only file one complaint during each three-year re-appraisal period. This is the general rule; there are a handful of exceptions to the three-year rule, which can also be found on the Lorain County auditor website.

Once your complaint is successfully filed with the auditor’s office, you will be notified of a hearing date. Most hearings last approximately 15 minutes and there will be three county officials or their representatives in the hearing. You will be given the opportunity to present your information and why you feel the property is valued too high.There are a wide variety of resources that can be used to support your complaint, such as a recent appraisal, photos of the property, estimates for needed repairs, as well as proof of recent sales on comparable properties. It is up to the property owner to prove their point.

A county appraiser also attends the hearing to provide information on the basis of the valuation. Additionally, if you are arguing for a reduction in value of more than $50,000, the local school board can also contest your complaint. You will not be given an answer right away. You will receive your answer in the mail following your hearing. Although the process is not overly complicated, it is important to be fully prepared and understand what you are getting into for the best chance of getting your assessed values lowered. For more information and strategies on successful re-evaluations, you can listen to our recorded seminar at http://rtsl.us/lowertaxes .

As successful and dedicated property managers, we do our best to help our landlords get an accurately assessed home value on all their properties. Property taxes are just one of the many expenses landlords face, so you want to make sure you are not unfairly being changed too much.

About Realty Trust Services
Realty Trust Services is a licensed brokerage and property management company in based out of Lorain County with a service area from Sandusky to Cleveland Heights to Medina. Their team includes: Agents, Christopher Obrycki, Andrew Morris, Shanon Jones- Plas, Kari Taylor, Matthew Klein and our other unlicensed team members including Steven Taylor, Bill Taylor, Greg Zadorozny, Kris Mrazek, Joyce Thomson, Matthew Harkins and David Stevoff. For more information on Realty Trust Services and how they can help with your property call 440-220-7300.

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TrustServe says January 15, 2013

Just had a call from someone who worked with the board of revision in Lorain County.  A very nice lady and she mentioned that when filling out your complaint you need to make very sure that you pay do it in the name of the actual entity that the property is titled in. If the public records show the name is in Jane Doe homeowners name John Doe husband should not be signing his name to the complaint (even though technically because of Ohio dower law he owns half of the property).   Also if is in the name of the trust, the paperwork must show the trust in the owner and the trustee must sign as trustee. Apparently small mistakes like this can get you turned down.

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