Feel like your house is not worth what the county auditor says it is? We recently attended a Cincinnati Area Board of Realtors Continuing Education class on property valuation for tax purposes. Chris Finney of Finney, Stagnaro, Saba & Patterson Co., LPA led the class and gave us materials pertaining to Hamilton County, Ohio. Other counties in the Greater Cincinnati Area and beyond will differ. Homeowners need to research the process in the county and state of their residence. According to Mr. Finney, right now – 1/1/11 to 3/31/11 – is the time to challenge your property tax valuation if you believe your OHIO county has placed too high a value on your property. With the way the county valuation cycles work combined with the way we pay our taxes you should be able to enjoy 2 years of reduced taxes according to Finney. Please be advised, we are not permitted to dispense legal advice, and we are sharing this for informational purposes only. While Mr. Finney says many of these residential valuation cases can easily be performed by the homeowner, please feel free to consult with the attorney of your choice for more aid and information.
The easiest challenge occurs if you have bought a home between 10/15/08 and the present and the auditor’s value is higher than the sales price. If the sale was an arm’s length transaction (i.e., not between family members), you will get a check for the difference is how Finney put it. The average reduction value savings is 2% of the value difference so if your value is determined to be off by $20,000 the average refund will be $400/year. Homeowners who have recently bought their home aren’t the only ones who can benefit. It appears that those who have recently refinanced would also find it very easy to challenge their valuation based on the appraisal performed for their refi. Even those who have not bought or refinanced can challenge their value if they feel they are being over valued with the aid of an appraisal or a realtor’s Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) or even a CMA performed by the homeowner. The form from the Board of Revision provides further instruction. Please contact us if you need any supporting documentation that we can provide.
IMPORTANT reminder!!! Your county can raise your value and tax bill if the county determines they have undervalued your property. Proceed at your own risk. Below are some links to Hamilton and other counties in the Greater Cincinnati area. You should be able to find your property’s current assessed value and the values of similar nearby properties. If you determine you are over-valued, you should be able to find the information you need to challenge your value there on your county site. Good luck!
If you own commercial property with a larger valuation and corresponding larger tax bill, you may want to consult with Chris Finney or the attorney of your choice to review your situation. The potential savings is exponentially greater.
Anyone recognize the house in that last photo? It’s the Gamble House (as in Procter and) in Pasadena, CA, designed by Charles and Henry Greene in 1908. It was also the home of Doc Brown in ‘Back to the Future.’ It’s owned by the City of Pasadena and is open for public tours!