Ohio law requires County Auditors to revalue every six years all parcels of real estate within their counties for purposes of real property taxation.  Every third year the values are to be updated by the County Auditors.  Not all Ohio counties are on the same time table for these updates.  This link from the Ohio Tax Commissioner’s website shows the time table by county.

Hamilton County, Ohio is subject to the six year provision in 2011.  As of June 2011 the Hamilton County process is almost complete, and letters are being sent to property owners showing the current (2010 year) market value as compared to the 2011 year tentative market value.

Ohio law permits a property owner to challenge the valuation, and the 2011 tentative market value could assist in challenging the 2010 value.

That challenge is due after the tax bill for that year is issued but before April 1 of that year.  The challenge is made in writing on a form prescribed for such a process and filed with the applicable county along with supporting data.  The challenge is very procedural and may later result in the property owner being asked to attend a hearing before the Board of Revisions for that county to discuss the property value being challenged.  In some cases the property owner may be represented by a lawyer before the Board.

So, for example, the 2010 real estate tax bills are mailed to property owners (or escrow agents of record) in January and May of 2011.  The property owner’s challenge as to valuation on the 2010 tax assessment was due before April 1, 2011.

It is important to note that the revaluation in Hamilton County that has been or will be sent to property owners in 2011 relates to the 2011 tax year and not the 2010 tax year.  Nonetheless, if the 2011 County’s tentative market value is less than what the property owner believes the property to be worth for purposes of the 2010 challenge, the property owner should attend the scheduled hearing and – if it is to the property owner’s advantage – should present the county’s tentative 2011 property value to support a reduction in the 2010 valuation.

For real property used in business (where the accrual method of accounting is being employed) these adjustments may impact the amount of taxes properly accrued at the fiscal year end.  Ohio’s real estate taxes are paid in arrears.  The first half of 2010’s taxes are paid in January of 2011.  The second half of 2010’s taxes are paid in June of 2011.  The lien date for property taxes in Ohio is January 1.

For more information, contact your Barnes Dennig tax professional at (513) 241-8313.

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