Surges in property values don't guarantee spikes in property taxes

CLEVELAND - Counties across Northeast Ohio are in the process of sending out proposed assessed valuations on homes, but concerns are growing as people in many communities learn their home values have gone up.

Homeowners want to know what kind of impact this will have on their property taxes.

The proposed assessed valuations are part of a property inspection process to keep equity in the market. It plays out every six years in Cuyahoga County.

"We have approximately 489,000 parcels that we have to view," said Lisa Rocco with the Cuyahoga County Fiscal Office.

Each of them recently stacked up against sale prices from January 1, 2016 to May 31, 2017.

"We also look at characteristics, size of home, age and the neighborhood that you're in," Rocco said.

A map from the county’s fiscal office shows property values in almost every city in Cuyahoga County have gone up.

"We're finally seeing an increase in the market that we haven't seen since 2006," Rocco said.

In some places like Lakewood and Rocky River, the increase is more than 20 percent.

RELATED: Residents are shocked after Cuyahoga County drastically increases home values

"What the percentage is is what the market has produced," Rocco said.

Right now, some homeowners worry that a hot market could price them out of a home.

"This doesn't necessarily mean that your taxes are going to go up," Rocco said.

Rocco said it all depends on how your property's increase compares to the overall percentage in your city.

"If your community went up 24 percent and your property value went up above the 24 percent, your taxes most likely will go up," Rocco said.

In some cases, there could be a decrease.

“It's dependent on the levies in your community that were passed," Rocco said.

Rocco said she knows homeowners have concerns. Her department is available starting next week to chat about these matters and have values rechecked if requested.

Any changes made to values will be released in November, and formal hearings will begin in December.

As for the county's findings, Rocco said they are verified before being sent out.

"The state of Ohio did their own analysis and said, 'Yes, that is what we are showing,'" Rocco said.

While some homeowners may look at their new assessed value as a negative, Rocco doesn't want them to lose sight of the benefits.

“It will increase value for a community, and it will increase money for their budgets for city services, so it's a good thing," Rocco said.

To file a complaint with the fiscal office, homeowners can:

Anyone disputing a proposed value will need to submit one or more of the following types of documentation for review by a staff appraiser:

  • Complete Appraisal Report (prepared within the last 12 months)
  • Total cost of new structure (certified by builder)
  • Photographs of structural damage and estimates for repairs
  • Purchase agreement with closing statement
  • Certified estimates from a contractor for repairs cited as the reason for a change in value

The fiscal office said homeowners may only submit one complaint. Additional complaints will need to be processed or reviewed.

Anyone with questions regarding the process can call the fiscal office at (216)-443-4663.

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