How to lower your property taxes in Ohio, when the value of your home decreases

We at The Gundy Law Firm can show you the steps to help lower your property taxes.

First, review your property records with the County Auditor's Office.

The first step in appealing your property' s value is visiting the County Auditor's Office where the tax value is established. Request a meeting with a County representative to review your property's value. This is a great opportunity to learn how your property value was established. Examine your property' s record card to ensure all the physical facts about the buildings and structures are accurate. If a clerical error is discovered, a value adjustment may be completed to correct the error without the need to file a formal appeal. It is recommended that property owners conduct a yearly review of their property records to ensure all records are accurate. Remember, people make mistakes. Clerical errors do happen when clerks enter information into the computer. One clerical error could cost you a lot of money. At this time, if there were no changes to your property' s value or you are still not satisfied with the corrected value, you may file a formal appeal with the County Board of Revision.

Obtain a DTE Form 1 - Complaint Against the Valuation of Real Property

This form is available in the County Auditor's Office. The Directory of Ohio County Auditor's can be found at https://www.caao.org/DIRECTORY/.

Fill out and deliver the complaint form

The DTE Form 1 - Complaint Against the Valuation of Real Property gives the Board of Revision the complaining party's opinion of a property' s estimated value for the year the tax is due. (The issue of taxes cannot be addressed either on the Form 1 or during the ensuing hearing.)

There must be a clear identification of the property being appealed. To ensure this, use the property' s parcel number as it appears on the most recent tax bill.

The completed, signed and notarized DTE Form 1 can be filed after January 1st but must be physically inside the County Auditor's Office no later than the close of business on March 31 (some deadlines vary by County). This includes complaints filed through any form of mail.

Receive a "Hearing Notice" letter from the Board of Revision

After the complaint form is filed, the Clerk of the Board of Revision will schedule a hearing date. The Clerk will send a notice in the mail to the address you provided on the complaint form.

Gather evidence of the property' s market value

If the procedure letter contains a hearing notice, then it is time for the complaining party to gather evidence supporting his/her opinion of the property' s market value. The County's Rules of Procedure, which are usually included with the hearing notice, list the kinds of evidence the Board requires.

Remember: Ohio Law states that the property values established by the County Auditor are presumed to be correct. It is the complaining party's responsibility to prove the Auditor's values are incorrect.

Typical information the complaining party must provide is evidence, facts, appraisals, comparable sales, conveyance forms, purchase contracts, property photographs, or other information which will demonstrate to the Board that the property's estimated fair market value, as established by the County, is incorrect.

Attend, and participate in the hearing

A lawyer can represent you in this matter. For assistance please email or call us.

A typical Board of Revision hearing usually lasts about 15 minutes. The hearing is recorded by either a tape recorder or a stenographer.

After the complaining party, and any witnesses he/she has brought to the hearing, have been sworn in by the Board of Revision, the individual presents his/her evidence of the property' s market value.

After the evidence and all witnesses have been heard, the Board members may examine those individuals regarding the information that was, or was not, presented.

Receive the Board's decision