On July 1, 2022, a new Ohio law will come into effect that will establish restrictions on a school board’s ability to file complaints in property tax assessment cases, and it will apply to complaints filed for the 2022 and subsequent tax year. Below is a summary of the main restrictions of the law:
I. Limitation of Complaints by a School Board; Recent sale
A school board may file an initial complaint seeking to increase the taxable value of another’s property only if: (a) the property was sold in an arm’s length transaction prior to the taxation year for which the complaint is filed, and (b) the sale price is an amount that is both 10% and at least $500,000 above the market value currently assessed by the auditor.
II. Limitation of complaints submitted by a school board; Resolution required
Before filing a complaint, a school board must adopt a formal resolution at a public meeting to authorize the complaint. The school board must also send a written notice to the owner concerned, at least seven (7) days before the public hearing, indicating (a) its intention to adopt the resolution, (b) the date of proposed adoption, and ( c) the basis of the proposed complaint.
III. one year rule; Dismissal
If a board of review does not render a final decision on a school board’s original complaint within one year from the date it was filed, the complaint is deemed dismissed.
IV. School Board Counter Complaints: Prohibitions on Minimum Demands
A school board can file a counter-complaint in response to a landlord’s complaint to reduce market value, but only if the reduction claimed is $50,000 or more.
V. Counter-complaints of the Rectorate: Deadline
Previously, a school board could file a counter-complaint within 30 days of receiving notice of an initial complaint, and county auditors were required to notify school districts of any initial complaints. Such notice is no longer required and the time allowed to a school board to file a counter-complaint is limited to 30 days after the filing of the initial complaint.
VI. Appeals by Board of Education
A school board cannot appeal the decision of a review board of an initial complaint or a counter-complaint.
VII. No private payment agreement
A school board cannot enter into a “private payment agreement”, which is defined as an agreement in which a landlord pays a certain amount of money to a school board in exchange for the board dismissing or not filing a complaint. .
Historically, school boards in Ohio have used the property tax dispute process, as outlined in Ohio Revised Code Chapter 5715, very aggressively to drag property owners into protracted litigation and, in many cases, to artificially inflate property values, thereby generating more revenue for the school districts they serve. On April 21, 2022, Governor DeWine signed into law House Bill 126, which will likely significantly curtail this practice. In doing so, the Governor intends to reassure property owners and those seeking to invest in Ohio that they will be charged reasonable, market-based property taxes, and will not be required to meet annual complaints and engage in ongoing property litigation. valuations.