May 22, 2024

How Franklin County homeowners can view new property tax

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Franklin County homeowners can now view their new property tax bill, reflecting a record increase in home values from last year’s mass reappraisal.

The state-required reappraisal tasked with reevaluating every home in the county has ended and property owners can now access their bill by entering their address on the Franklin County Auditor’s site or the Franklin County Treasurer’s site. After entering an address, comprehensive parcel information is available to view, including any alerts and the parcel’s real-estate property tax bill.

Homeowners can pay their bill in full or in two payments, with first-half payments due on Jan. 31 and the second half on June 20. Franklin County residents can register an account within the treasurer’s site to store their payment and parcel information, including receipts and transaction history. Registration will also allow property owners to schedule payments.

Online payments can be made with a credit card, debit card, electronic check or an ACH check in a secure environment that exceeds Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance standards, according to the treasurer’s office. Payment will be considered accepted and paid on the submitted date, but it may take three to five business days for processing.

Residential values in Franklin County increased by an average of 41% from last year’s reappraisal, according to county Auditor Michael Stinziano. Broken down by school district, the increases range from a 17% increase for Grandview Heights to a 70% increase for Hamilton Local School District.

Canal Winchester and Licking Heights are experiencing an increase of 47%, Columbus City Schools a 48% increase, Reynoldsburg a 50% increase, Groveport Madison a 61% increase and Whitehall a 68% increase.

Can property owners contest their value?

Homeowners who feel their final assessed value is incorrect have until April 1 to file a Board of Revision complaint here. The board hears complaints on the market value of properties and can adjust the value based on presented evidence.

When filing a complaint, the auditor’s office said to consider submitting supporting documentation to expedite the process. Some examples of supporting documentation include settlement/closing statements, purchase contracts and appraisals.  

All hearings are being conducted via Zoom. If a homeowner prefers to have their hearing in person, they are advised to contact the Board of Revision at least 10 days before the hearing. 

Stinziano’s office is also hosting more than 30 walk-in clinics to help owners navigate the Board of Revision process. These clinics will take place over the next few months at various spots; view times and locations here.

How do property values impact taxes?

Last year’s reappraisal process was not intended to increase or decrease taxes but to keep property values up to date with Franklin County’s real estate market, the auditor’s office said. As a result of the reappraisal, tax rates were adjusted to collect the same amount of revenue as was collected the year before on all voted millage — ballot box issues, like funding for local schools, city and township governments.

Millage is equal to one dollar for each $1,000 of taxable valuation. In Ohio, property taxes are assessed on 35% of the appraised value set by the county auditor and are calculated by multiplying the taxable value of a home — that 35% of the appraised market value — times the district’s total millage.

So, it is not a one-to-one ratio: A 41% rise in property value does not equate to a 41% increase in taxes. Here’s an example: One mill levied on a home with an appraised market value of $100,000 would produce a taxable value of $35,000 and generate $35 in revenue.

Generally, the auditor’s office outlines the following quick rules:

If This: Then This:
Your value change is the same as the average in your district, or increases at the same rate as the average in your taxing district You can expect a small change in taxes
Your value change decreases more than the average in your taxing district, or decreases, but the average in your taxing district increases You can expect a decrease in taxes
Your value decreases, but less than the average decline in your taxing district You can expect a small increase in taxes
Your value increases more than other average increases in your taxing district You can expect an increase in taxes
(Franklin County Auditor’s Office)

One issue contributing to higher property taxes is a Columbus City Schools levy that passed on Nov. 7 to bring in nearly $100 million annually for the district. The levy is also measured in mills, or one-tenth of a cent. Of the combined 7.7-mill levy, 3 mills, or $38,612,000 per year, will go toward operating expenses. The other 4.7 mills, or $60,492,000 per year, will go toward the district’s permanent improvement fund.

Another passed on Nov. 7 is a levy that will bring in $39 million for the Columbus Metropolitan Library system during its first year. The 1.5-mill continuing levy with no expiration will increase the library’s current revenue from about $81 million to about $120 million. For each $100,000 of market value, the levy will increase property owners taxes by $53.

Counties are required to reappraise real estate every six years — the process underway in Franklin County — and update their values every three years. Along with Franklin County, Delaware, Licking and Pickaway counties are completing reappraisals in 2023. Ashland, Athens, Knox, Madison and Noble counties are updating.

The reappraisal process is much more intensive, while a three-year update only assesses home sale data. Stinziano’s office noted Franklin County’s last update in 2020 increased values by roughly 20%, leading to a tax increase of about 7.8%.

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