Stark County Real Estate Tax Changes Coming

Stark County property owners can expect real estate tax changes soon.  This summer Stark County will go through its six-year reappraisal for all property in the County. Notice of the proposed valuation changes will likely be sent to Stark County property owners the week of July 23, 2018 according to Stark County Auditor’s Office. With the real estate market improving since the economic downturn expect most valuations to rise, meaning in most cases you will be paying higher real estate taxes next year.

What should you do when you receive this valuation notice?
1. Review the notice carefully to be sure it accurately lists your property.
2. Check the valuation against any information you have to ensure it fairly assesses the value of your property.

If after you review, you feel there are any errors or the valuation is too high for your property, you will have an opportunity to informally refute or challenge the valuations through the Stark County Auditor’s Office. If that informal process does not resolve the issue,  property owners always have the option of filing a formal complaint through the Stark County Board of Revision. This process while not technically requiring an attorney can be significantly streamlined with the aid of counsel.  There are strict time frames around the filing of formal valuation complaints that a property owner must comply with.  If you do nothing, be prepared for a likely higher tax bill next year and the years that follow.  This will result in higher monthly mortgage payments for those who pay their taxes through an escrow account with their mortgage company or higher direct payments for those who pay their real estate taxes directly.

As background for everyone –  real estate taxes in Ohio are paid ‘in arrears’ which means in any given year you are paying the tax that applied to your real estate last year.  So for example, when you received your tax bill in January of 2018, that was for the period January 1, 2017- June 30, 2017. Under Ohio law every County in the state is required to reappraise all property every 6 years.  There is also an interim update on those valuations completed in the midpoint of that period (3 years). The counties throughout the state are on a schedule that has various counties going through the update a reappraisal process each year. 2018 will be the year for the 6 year update for Stark County. For reference purposes Tuscarawas County will get its 3 year update in 2019 and a full reappraisal in 2022. Summit County will have its next full reappraisal in 2020.  When a county goes through its major reappraisals (every 6 years) it looks at a variety of real estate sales data, general pricing trends and other analytical information to determine values for all of the real estate in the County. The County Auditor then determines new valuations for each parcel of real estate in the County.  Then the County Auditor applies the appropriate tax rate (for example taking into account school levies, county levies, fire district levies, etc.) to determine what the actual tax amount will be for each parcel.

If you need assistance with your real estate taxes, contact the real estate group to help guide you through the process.