YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Property appraisals in Ohio are done every six years in all 88 counties. Reevaluations are done every three years.
Mahoning and Trumbull counties are in the middle of a complete reevaluation with new tax bills due in 2024. Columbiana County conducted a reappraisal in 2022, and those new tax bills went out this year.
In Columbiana County, the increase was between 18% and 50%. Some areas saw higher increases than others, depending on the sales data.
“We’ve seen nothing like this,” said Mahoning County Auditor Ralph Meacham. “It’s happening everywhere.”
In essence, homeowners pay taxes on time periods that have already passed. Meacham said they will look at pricing data from 2022. That’s what the state is doing, too, which has to sign off on the new valuations. Meacham said the county is broken up into neighborhoods for valuation, not just towns or cities or townships.
“Everyone knows what the market did in 2021 and continued into 2022. So, the object of the reevaluation is to get these properties assessed in a close approximation to fair market value, and that’s what we are doing,” Meacham said. “We are trying to find relevant, comparable sale prices. So for instance, if your house didn’t sell and others around you may have, we try to find a comparable house in order to assess the value of yours.”
We all know that the last three years saw a substantial increase in the local housing market with bidding wars and inflated home prices. Meacham said people were paying over the asking price in many instances. The market softened in 2022 a bit, but prices were still high.
“Preliminary indicators from what I’ve heard, from what I’ve talked to other auditors in the state about, I would not be surprised if we saw a 30% increase in assessed values after reevaluation,” Meacham said.
Trumbull County is also in the middle of a mass reappraisal, which will impact 2024 taxes. Auditor Martha Yoder said they don’t have a clear picture regarding values but will have a better idea at the end of the year and will make those values available to the public.
“The market does influence the values as appraisals are based in part on sales, but it is too soon to predict exactly how much of an increase in values will occur, and it will not be the same countywide because of variances in the market,” Yoder said.
Keep in mind, too, that levy increases can also impact property taxes in Ohio. While market trends play a role, the increase in taxes versus valuation may not be that large.
“Let’s say the average increase in a residential property is 30%, and let’s say in Canfield, for instance, if your property value goes up 30% and everyone else’s went up on average 30%, your taxes won’t increase except for new reviews. If your assessed value went up 40%, then your taxes will go up,” Meacham said.
You can get a glimpse of your new valuation online in August or September of this year, but those numbers are just preliminary until the state approves them, which should happen in November or December.
Homeowners can contest the new valuations. They have from January 1, 2024, to March 31, 2024, to file the paperwork. The information on how to do that is online, but Meacham suggests visiting the auditor’s office to get help with the process.