2023 Property Reappraisal Misconceptions vs. Realities

Misconception: "The value of my house went up 25%, I should expect a 25% increase in my property taxes."

Reality: Taxes do not increase in direct proportion with an increase inproperty value.

The relationship between property value changes and corresponding changes in property taxes is much more complex, and is based on the interaction between the amount and type of tax levies on your property, the value changes of your property, and how your property compares to value changes of other properties in your taxing district.

Ohio Revised Code section 319.301 prevents an increase in revenue from voted levies due to inflation

The auditor’s office understands the impact on property taxes is one of your largest concerns. The following are some very general rules you can follow when attempting to determine how much your taxes will increase or decrease after a value change:

  • If property value increases by exactly the same percentage as the taxing district as a whole, the taxes for that property will stay the same, with the exception of inside millage.
  • If property value increases by less than the average in your taxing district, taxes will decrease.
  • If property value increases by more than the average in your taxing district, taxes will increase.
  • While the total tax dollars raised per taxing district will remain the same, an individual taxpayer’s share will be based on their new property value in relation to their taxing district as a whole. In this way, the burden of the voted tax is equalized.

Misconception: "Homes are intentionally appraised at a higher value for the purpose of generating tax revenue."

Reality: It is neither the goal nor the duty of the Franklin County Auditor to raise or lower the amount of tax revenue collected as a result of property value changes. The State of Ohio requires each property in the state go through a reappraisal process every six years, along with a triennial update every three years between reappraisals to adjust for trends in the real estate market. It is the County Auditor’s responsibility under state law to conduct these processes for Franklin County, just as it is for the County Auditors of all other Ohio counties.

The purpose of a six year mass reappraisal or triennial update is to ensure that each taxpayer is paying only their fair share of the voter-approved tax burden – no more and no less. As a result of a reappraisal or triennial update, tax rates are adjusted to collect the same amount of revenue as was collected the year before on all voted millage. Additional revenue may only be raised with the approval of the voters. The only part of the tax rate which is allowed to rise or fall with property value is referred to as inside millage and amounts to no more than 10 mills. This is because the Ohio Revised Code allows for the first 10 mills of property taxes without any prior approval from voters. These inside mills are split among municipalities, the county, townships, and schools in each taxing district.

Millage is equal to one dollar for each $1,000 of taxable valuation. In Ohio, property taxes are assessed on 35% of the appraised market value. The value on which taxes are assessed is known as the taxable or assessed value. For example, one mill levied on a home with a taxable value of $35,000 ($100,000 appraised market value) would generate $35.00 in revenue.

Misconception: "My property value varies from the Franklin County Auditor's website and other home value websites."

Reality: Yes, the values will be different, and they should be. The County Auditor is required to establish value every three years for the sole purpose of equitably establishing a rate that will be used for taxing purposes. Further, County Auditors in Ohio must use verified sales from the three years prior to the lien date (the annual date for determining the taxability of personal property, which is January 1), for which the values are to be established. Online value websites are only as good as the data entered into that application’s database and the complexity of the analysis performed by the application. Generally, home value websites are designed to indicate a value as of the day you request it, and only the property’s location and possibly its style are considered.

Misconception: “I need to have a fee appraisal done or have recently purchased my property to have a property value review.”

Reality: All property owners are welcome to participate in a property value review, either virtually or in-person without a fee appraisal. Residents are strongly encouraged to participate in the property value review process if you disagree with your tentative property value or need to have data about your property corrected.

If you do not have a recent sale or fee appraisal, some documents you may consider bringing to your property value review include photos or estimates of detrimental property conditions or comparable recent sales or similar properties in your neighborhood that you think may better represent the value of your home.

Misconception: "I do not have a say in what my property is worth."

Reality: The 2023 property reappraisal process is designed to include the property owner numerous times throughout the valuation process. In August 2023, all property owners can review theri tentative value. If a property owner disagrees with their tentative value, they will have the opportunity to meet with a member of the appraisal department virtually or in-person to offer additional information they feel is pertinent to their property’s value. These meetings, known as property value reviews, will take place throughout the month of September 2023. All property values will be finalized once decisions regarding valuation changes have been made after property review hearings in November.

If a property owner still disagrees with the Auditor value of their property once final values have been completed, the Board of Revisions is the next opportunity to seek a value change. All property owners may puruse a filing. If a filing is made, a hearing will be held, at which time the property owner will can seek changes to their property’s valuation. Property owners may be contacted to mediate their Board of Revision case virtually or by telephone to avoid a physical hearing and the lost time and expense associated with the hearing process. Please visit the Board of Revision webpage for more information.

Misconception: "Foreclosed homes should play a role in the value of my property since they decrease the value of the neighborhood."

Reality: Under Ohio law, County Auditors are not permitted to use foreclosure transactions directly in the appraisal process as comparable sales. First and foremost, a foreclosure is not a sale. Rather, it is a judicial process. Second, many foreclosed properties are no longer in comparable condition to other area housing stock. The impact of foreclosures in a neighborhood is measured by the decline in sale prices resulting from arm’s length open market sales in which neither party is compelled or forced to buy or sell. Therefore, foreclosures are indirectly reflected in the market values established by your County Auditor.

Misconception: "My home is being compared to homes in nicer neighborhoods."

Reality: The entire county is broken down into appraisal neighborhoods using attributes such as location, tax district, school district, the year houses were built, quality of construction, condition, etc. These neighborhoods are used to group parcels for valuation purposes. Auditor appraisal neighborhoods do not always have the same boundaries as what you may consider a neighborhood. In general, the appraisal neighborhoods are smaller, and their focus is on similarity for appraisal purposes. The Franklin County Auditor does not compare sales of properties in dissimilar neighborhoods for the purposes of a reappraisal and places great emphasis on creating appraisal neighborhoods composed of properties that are as similar as possible.

Misconception: "My home is older and not been recently renovated, yet it is being compared to homes that have been improved / remodeled when sold."

Reality: Building permits filed with municipalities within Franklin County are given to the Auditor's office and our appraisers conduct what is known as an annual maintenance update. No matter how big or small these improvements may be, our appraisers will examine the permit to determine if an increased value should be assessed on that particular property outside of the reappraisal, ensuring that they are valued appropriate than homes without those improvements.

Misconception: "Tax abatements result in me paying more property taxes."

Reality: Tax abatements are a tool used by local government entities to promote economic development and steer investment to needed areas. Abatements may waive at least a portion of property taxes that would otherwise be due on improvements to a property after the abatement is issued. Taxes are still paid on the property as it existed prior to the abatement and will be paid on the full value after the abatement expires.

Over time, tax abatements can both cause your taxes to go up and contribute to taxes staying the same or going down, but do not have any immediate effect on your tax bill. Your taxes do not go up to fill in the loss of revenue from an abatement, but abatements can affect both property value and levy decisions over time.

Abatements are approved by cities, villages, and townships, often with cooperation from the local school board. They often include goals and requirements for new job creation or affordable housing. Local officials approving abatements try to do so to support investment in communities that would not happen or would happen elsewhere without the abatement. In the short term, abatements can provide opportunity within communities and both sales and income tax revenue to state and local governments.

The Franklin County Auditor does not decide what tax abatements should be issued or why. That decision is made by cities, villages, and townships, often with the consent of the school board. The Auditor’s office does process abatements and includes them in the information available to the public about property values and taxes.

The Auditor also chairs the Tax Incentive Review Committees (TIRCs), which annually review the abatements. These committees also include local government and community leaders. The TIRCs determine if the project is meeting its goals and requirements and can make a recommendation to the local government entity to continue, remove or alter the abatement.