Around this time last year, in July of 2022, a new Ohio law announced sweeping changes to the real property tax appeal structure. The changes introduced by House Bill 126 affect both property owners and school districts in regards to adopting new litigation strategy. The law also disallows private payment between property owners and school boards or other governmental bodies in the settlement of property tax disputes.
As a refresher, the Walter Haverfield Real Estate Group has summarized noteworthy aspects presented by H.B. 126 below:
- School districts can only file a Complaint Against Valuation for real property if:
- A property was sold: (1) in an arm’s-length transaction before the tax lien date at issue (2) for a sale price that exceeds the County’s value of the property by 10% and at least $500,000.00.
- A school board sends written notice to a property owner at least 7 days prior to the board’s public meeting where a resolution authorizing the tax appeal filing will be considered by the board. The school board must adopt a separate resolution for each tax appeal being initiated, and there can only be one consolidated vote on multiple resolutions if no other matters are considered as part of the vote.
- The Ohio Tax Department created a new Complaint Against Valuation form (Form DTE 1). School districts must check a box on the new form DTE 1 stating that the district followed the rules listed in Item #2 above.
- School districts may only file counter-complaints if the value differential is greater than $50,000.00 in market value. A district must file a counter-complaint within 30 days of the date the original complaint was filed.
- The Board of Revision must hear and render a decision within 180 days after the March 31st filing deadline (September 27th). If the original complaint was filed by a school district and the BOR has not rendered a decision within 1 year, the BOR must dismiss the case for lack of jurisdiction. Previously, there were no consequences for the BOR failing to decide the case by a certain date.
- Direct payment agreements between property owners and school districts to settle tax appeal cases are now prohibited. However, stipulations of value are still permitted.
- School Districts can no longer appeal BOR decisions, but property owners still can.