Ohio Real Property Tax Complaint Procedures under Revised Code § 5715.19

Sophia R. Holley

Do you suspect your Ohio real estate may have been incorrectly valued? If so, you have the right to challenge this value under Ohio Revised Code § 5715.19. Per this statute, property values are challenged one year in arrears. This means that a Complaint filed this year is to contest the value of the property as it was on January 1, 2021. Both commercial and residential property values may be challenged under the statute.

If you file a tax appeal, it is your burden to provide credible and probative evidence that the value of your property is lower than the value that has been determined by the County Auditor. This can be demonstrated by providing recent sales information for comparable properties, by submitting an appraisal from a professional appraiser, or by presenting evidence of a recent sale of the property. It is best if any evidence of recent sales of comparable properties is evidence of open market sales made as close to the tax lien date as possible. 

Challenges in Hamilton County are filed with, and heard by, the Hamilton County Board of Revision. This Board consists of three members: (1) the County Auditor; (2) the County Treasurer; and (3) the President of the Board of County Commissioners. Ohio has standardized a “Complaint Against the Valuation of Real Property” form for challenging property values, which can be downloaded from the Hamilton County Board of Revision website. It is important to fill out each line of the Complaint form carefully, as failure to do so may result in dismissal of the Complaint. In challenging your property value, you must address the total value of both land and buildings.    

Properties are valued in Ohio on a six-year cycle, consisting of two three-year cycles (trienniums). Year 1 starts the first triennium, when the Auditor conducts a full reappraisal of property values. Year 4 commences the second triennium, when the Auditor makes adjustments to property values. In Hamilton County, the current three-year cycle is for tax years 2020 through 2022. Generally, the rule is that a property owner may challenge the value assigned by the Auditor only once in each three-year cycle. There are exceptions to this rule, including instances where there has been property damage, an arm’s length transaction, or a decrease in the property’s occupancy with a substantial economic impact on the property (in instances of rental properties).

Under Ohio law, the deadline to file Complaints with the Board of Revision for tax year 2021 is March 31, 2022. Now is therefore an appropriate time to consider whether to file a Complaint. A helpful start for the inquiry is to consider whether your property could sell for the amount in which it was valued by the Auditor. If the answer is a decided “no,” it may be a good time to consider challenging the Auditor’s value with the Board of Revision.

Should you have any questions or need assistance, please contact Sophia Holley.

Sophia R. Holley

KMK Law articles and blog posts are intended to bring attention to developments in the law and are not intended as legal advice for any particular client or any particular situation. The laws/regulations and interpretations thereof are evolving and subject to change. Although we will attempt to update articles/blog posts for material changes, the article/post may not reflect changes in laws/regulations or guidance issued after the date the article/post was published. Please consult with counsel of your choice regarding any specific questions you may have.


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