Changes to Ohio Property Tax Valuations Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic
Taxpayers whose property tax valuation was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic have a unique but limited opportunity to challenge their valuation. Senate Bill 57 was signed into law on April 27 by Governor DeWine and will take effect on July 26, 2021.
The Bill provides special procedures for submitting a COVID-19 property tax valuation complaint. It authorizes the county board of revision (BOR) to consider the COVID-19 pandemic as a factor when determining property tax valuations for the 2020 tax year. If the valuation was reduced due to pandemic-related events, taxpayers may file a special complaint. The complaint must specify exactly how the COVID‑19 pandemic or state orders reduced the property value. Property owners should avoid making general allegations regarding a decline in economic conditions and should support their claims with documentation, such as appraisals or purchase contracts.
Complaints must be filed within 30 days of the Bill’s effective date. There is some confusion amongst Ohio counties over whether the effective date is 90 days after the Bill was signed on April 27, or 90 days after Governor DeWine filed the Bill with the Ohio Secretary of State on May 5. Some counties are using July 26 as the effective date, making the deadline to file a complaint August 25. Other counties are using August 3 to September 2 as the filing period. Until this issue is clarified, we recommend that property owners file between August 3 and August 25 to be sure their complaint is considered.
Here are additional key provisions of Senate Bill 57 for pandemic-related matters:
- Changes the Date on which Properties are Valued. Before this legislation, property values were determined as of January 1, 2020. To account for pandemic-related issues, taxpayers will be allowed to contest their property value as of October 1, 2020, if they can show their property was devalued because of the pandemic.
- Permits Additional Complaints. The Bill waives the rule barring multiple valuation complaints from being filed in the same interim period for complaints filed for tax years 2021 or 2022. Property tax complaints can normally only be filed once in a three-year period, but this allows taxpayers to file multiple complaints within the same triennium if a complaint is related to COVID-19 valuations. If you have already filed a complaint within the triennial period, you can still file a special complaint for reconsideration due to COVID-19.
Given the quickly approaching deadline for submitting property tax valuation complaints, it is important to review your valuation now to determine if it was affected by COVID-19 related circumstances in 2020.
Senate Bill 57 also updated other real property tax rules, as follows:
- Authorizes Triple-Net Tenants to File a Complaint. Until now, commercial or industrial tenants whose lease requires them to pay taxes charged against the property and the lease were not permitted to file a complaint. The tenant must be obligated to pay all taxes on the property and receive permission from their landlord to file a complaint in their own name.
- Provides Certain Property Tax Exemptions. Facilities that provide long-term housing for homeless individuals or those diagnosed with mental illness or substance abuse disorders are exempt from property taxes. To qualify, properties must provide or lease to individuals while providing supportive services, or lease to a charitable organization.
- Specifies that Minimum Service Payment Obligations Run with the Land. The Bill codifies that increment financing service payment obligation agreements are enforceable against subsequent property owners.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss the information provided in this Client Alert in more detail, please do not hesitate to contact us.
For more information, please contact: Harlan Louis, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (614) 229-3225.