Upset about your Property Value?

If the Oakley Community Council meeting is any indication, you are not alone.  Tuesday’s monthly meeting was PACKED and the majority of the meeting was spent discussing property values and the appeal process.  Dusty Rhodes and a local lawyer were both there to answer questions about how our values were figured and what we need to do to appeal the value.

Here are some of the basics I took from the Q&A.

Your property value is not necessarily the value as of today- these values were meant to reflect the value from January 2005- December 2007.  So while you may feel that in the current market your value has declined this value is taking a backwards look at where property values have been over the past 3 years.

You can go to the Hamilton County Auditor’s site and do a property search to find your homes appraised value as well as the “recent” sales used to compute the value.  In the next few weeks we will be receiving in the mail our new property taxes.  This is, of course, based on the new appraised value as well as new taxes and levies passed on the ballot, for example the Cincinnati School levy, so when the actual tax amount causes you to cringe, as I know it will me, do keep in mind that this is not just because of your new assessed value.

Now, you’ve taken a look at the assessed value and you think it is too high?  Then there are a few things you’ll want to do.  First, the deadline to appeal your market value is March 31st- no ifs, ands or buts about it.  If you don’t file your appeal on or before March 31st, you will have to wait until next year. 

A few stats for you.  There are approximately 350,000 households in the city of Cincinnati.  Of those, 3300 filed appeals last appraisal year and 82% of those were successful.  Before you get too exciteded, 3300 appeals is not very many of the total, so I’m guessing those households had a very strong argumentfor filing.  Also,  depending on the amount of time you have to spend on this process, some people find hiring an attorney to be helpful, but that is definitely going to cost you. 

So, how do you make a strong argument for your market value being too high? 

1. A recent sale of your property is your absolute best evidence of the property’s value.  If you have recently bought your house, dig through that paperwork and find your closing statement (HUD1) or purchase contract. 

2. If there hasn’t been a recent sale, then you are going to want to pull together recent sales of comparable homes in your neighborhood.  You want to find homes of similar size and condition that have sold for less than your market value.  As a Realtor I do this kind of market analysis all the time and many Realtors would be happy to help you with this.

3. If your home hasn’t sold recently and you are unable to find any comparable sales, you may want to consider hiring a appraiser.  There will be a cost for this service and so you will want to consider the cost of an appraiser versus the possible savings from a reduction in your property value.

Whatever information you are able to gather, you want to submit that with your appeal filing or at least 10 days before your hearing.  The Board of Revisions will hear your appeal, this is a three member board and you will have a 10-25 minute hearing in front of them.


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