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4,000 plaintiffs say they paid too much in property taxes 10 years ago in class action lawsuit

Posted at 10:28 PM, May 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-10 23:24:25-04

CUYAHOGA COUNTY, Ohio — Mark Musial has been fighting with Cuyahoga County for years over his property taxes. He said they've been giving him the runaround.

"Yes we'll fix it, no were not going to, no we can't do it right anymore because we no longer have the money," Musial said.

Musial said back when the housing market crashed in 2008 and lots of people were losing value on their properties, he got his office building reappraised and won.

"It said we've agreed to lower your property value to this number and if you agree with it, or don't want to challenge it any further, then you don't need to do anything and it will be reflected in your new tax bill," Musial recalled.

He said that never happened.

The value on his office building went from about $680,000 to just under $500,000, but he still paid taxes based on the previous appraisal—and did so for years.

"At that point I realized, nothing was going to change so when ended a filing a suit to get it fixed," Musial said.

Patrick Perotti, Musial's attorney, said the fault lies in the county.

"We never should have had to file because they know they made a mistake, they admitted that they owed the money back and yet they still haven't paid it," Perotti said.

Perotti said Musial wasn't alone and that he's one of 4,000 people suing the county for $5 million in property tax overages in this class action lawsuit.

"When you took money illegally you have to give it back," Perotti said.

Cuyahoga County will not comment on the ongoing case.