Ohio: March 31 deadline to file real property complaints

Blog Post

Property owners in Cleveland, Toledo, and across the state of Ohio have had their real property reappraised in value for tax purposes and may want to consider contesting those values. The 2018 tax year was a reappraisal year in Cuyahoga, Lucas, and several other Ohio counties.

Taxpayers wishing to contest the new value that the county auditor assigned for the 2018 tax year have a short window to contest the valuation that ends on March 31, 2019. Some counties have extended the deadline to April 1, 2019 because March 31, 2019 falls on a Sunday.

2018 Reappraisal and Update Counties

The auditors in the following counties recently finished reappraisals and valuation updates for the 2018 tax year that may result in increased property values and tax burdens:


Reappraisal Counties

Update Counties

























Property owners in these counties should see the new values reflected in their 2018 property tax bills that they received in December 2018 or January 2019. While property owners in any county may file a complaint to valuation, owners in these counties may be particularly interested due to the reappraisal or update for 2018.

Opportunities for Value Reduction

The reappraisal process is an enormous task for county auditor offices. Some large counties must reappraise hundreds of thousands of parcels of land. With so many parcels to appraise, it should come as no surprise that county auditors in Ohio sometimes make errors. 

In light of the potential for errors, property owners contesting their property values may see significant tax savings. For large commercial and leased properties, there may be additional opportunities due to a recent law change as well. The Ohio Supreme Court ruled in June 2017 that an amendment to Ohio Revised Code Section 5713.03 means that a recent arm’s length sale is no longer conclusive evidence of true value for tax purposes. County boards of revision must now consider appraisal evidence designed to rebut the presumption that a recent arm’s length sale is conclusive evidence of true value for tax purposes.

The Tax Appeal Process

McDonald Hopkins attorneys are well-versed in the tax appeal process. Property owners dissatisfied with their tax bill may file a complaint with the county board of revision in the county where the real estate is located. The complaint sets forth the reasons why the property is overvalued. If the property owner is a business, an attorney must sign the complaint in most situations. 

Attorneys may work with property owners to hire a qualified appraiser to appraise real estate and determine if it is overvalued. If so, the appraiser generates a report describing the real property and its value as of the “tax lien date.” For example, January 1, 2018 is the tax lien date for the 2018 tax year.

Within months after the complaint is filed, the county board of revision sets an evidentiary hearing, where an attorney appears on behalf of the property owner to present evidence and witness testimony regarding property value. The appraiser typically testifies on their appraisal report at the hearing. 

Following the hearing, the board of revision issues its decision regarding the value of the real property. If necessary, the board of revision’s decision may be appealed to the Ohio Board of Tax Appeals or the county court of common pleas where the property is located.

If you have questions or are interested in opportunities for contesting the value of real estate, please contact one of the attorneys listed below.

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