How to File a Real Estate Valuation Tax Appeal
When commercial property owners do not agree with their County Auditor’s value determination of their property, they can appeal the valuation using a Complaint Against Valuation (CAV). These appeals are submitted to the County Board of Revision (BOR) and, if approved, can lower the value and real estate taxes paid on a commercial property.
If you believe that you are overpaying on commercial real estate taxes and that the value of your property has fallen below that of the County Auditor, you can file a CAV with the help of this guide.
Common Reasons for An Appeal
Commercial property owners who have experienced one of the following scenarios, you may have adequate grounds for an appeal:
- The value of your property has declined from the previous year.
- Your building has a greater number of vacancies.
- You have high costs of tenant improvements or increased rent concessions.
- You have lowered tenant credit standards.
- Your building is experiencing economic or functional obsolescence.
Submitting an Appeal
Any single person or entity that owns a property can submit a CAV to their respective County BOR. Although the CAV can be submitted by a single person, it is strongly recommended that property owners work with an attorney and hire a certified appraiser to conduct a thorough investigation into the value of the property. It is important to get the value of the appraisal to be as accurate as possible in order to win an appeal. Inaccurate appeals can be dismissed and are even subject to counter-claims by school districts to raise the value of the property.
If a property owner works with an attorney on the appeal, it should be left up to the attorney to hire an appraiser. This ensures that the communication between the attorney and appraiser remains confidential. Appraisers should be licensed by the State of Ohio and be well-versed in appraising properties that are similar and located within the same general area.
As of December, the BOR begins accepting appeals. A CAV must be completed, signed, notarized and submitted to the BOR by March 31st of the ensuing year. Appeals that are not completed by this deadline are dismissed.
Hearing at the BOR are generally held from June to August (hearings can be held before or after these months, depending on the county). Property owners are notified no less than 10 days before their hearing will take place. It is up to the property owner to present the property information and evidence that its value has been overestimated. The burden of proof lies with the complainant and the BOR can present their own evidence as well as cross-examine any witness who have testified.
A written decision is generally sent out to property owners within 2 to 6 weeks after the hearing has ended.
Disclaimer: This information is for general educational purposes only and is not intended to be used as legal advice for any specific case. If you need assistance with a Complaint Against Valuation, tax appeal or any other case, we strongly advise you to contact an attorney.