Friday, January 28, 2011

Property Tax Appeals (Board of Revision) time for Cincinnati

The Board of Revision filing period is underway and your property value appeal form must be in no later than March 31st..

Between 2002-2006 thanks to easy credit availability properties were often sold for far more than they are worth today. When these properties were bought that sale helped establish values. As we all know property values have been driven down in many urban neighborhoods by 40-80 percent in some cases. So you may be paying more based on old or inaccurate numbers.

You want to first go to the Hamilton County Auditiors site and do a property search on your house. You want to look at the assessed value of your property and you want to go to the "image" tab and from the drop down select the sketch. This shows the outline of your home and any outbuildings and you want to make sure this is accurate. For example was an old carport or a porch removed? If so this would reduce the value of your property. Check the square footage shown and make sure it is accurate. There could be miscalculations that give you more square footage. More square footage often translates into higher value.

Another thing to look at is lot value! In some areas like OTR, lot values have gone way up because of the desire to build new infill. In other areas like Price Hill and Fairmount Lot values have gone way down. If you have extra lots with your property examine these values carefully. If the market rate (what things are listed and selling for) for a vacant lots is 500.00 and you are being assessed at 10,000.00. You may want to appeal.

If you bought your house in the last couple of years from a bank (but not at a sheriffs sale) You may have paid considerable less than what that property sold for several years ago. If you purchased at an "arms length transaction' that means the property was in the MLS, listed with a Realtor and you bought the property, you may successfully argue that that is the 'real value' of the property.  You want to find copies of the MLS listing showing the list price, and your accepted offer paperwork to prove that's what you paid.

In many areas people are "upside down", meaning their property is worth less than they paid for it. If for example you purchased a house in 2005 for 50K but you live in an area of large numbers of foreclosures and these days everything around you is selling for 10 grand, you may have a grounds for appeal and you may want to hire an appraiser to perform a certified appraisal of your property. A successful appeal of an inaccurate assessment can often save you thousands of dollars in property taxes a year so it may be worth the 300.00 or so for an appraisal.

After all you want to be sure you pay your "fair share", but are not paying more that you should be required to!

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