COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — As central Ohio home values are increasing from this year’s mass reappraisal, the Statehouse is moving forward with controversial legislation to alter how evaluations are calculated.

House Bill 187 — the “Homeowners Relief Act” — was passed by the Ohio House of Representatives on Wednesday and would require the tax department and county auditors to set property values based on data from the past three years, instead of one year. Reps. Adam Bird (R-New Richmond) and Thomas Hall (R-Madison Twp.) introduced the bill in May and argue using only data from the last year inflates property values. 

“Clermont County property rates are scheduled to go up 43% based on a decision from the Tax Commissioners office,” said Bird. “The General Assembly needs to act quickly with this legislation in order to protect homeowners around the state.”

However, the bill would decrease projected tax revenue to schools and local governments by $539 million, according to an analysis by the Legislative Service Commission. The County Treasurers Association of Ohio is urging the Statehouse to pause consideration of the legislation, stating the measure could “have serious unintended consequences on the tax collection process.”

“The timing of passage of the bill, even with an emergency clause that would allow it to go into effect immediately, would wreak havoc on timely certification, require counties that have already finalized amounts to redo those numbers, and cause tax amounts to be different for the first and second half of 2024,” the association said in a statement.

The legislation now heads to the Ohio Senate.

How does a home value increase impact taxes?

The state-required reappraisal process released tentative new evaluations that increased residential values by an average of 41% in Franklin County, 34% in Delaware, 36% in Licking, 32% in Madison and 34% in Pickaway.

Broken down by Franklin County school district, the increases range from a 17% increase for Grandview Heights to a 70% increase for Hamilton Local School District. Canal Winchester and Licking Heights can expect an increase of 47%, Columbus City Schools a 48% increase, Reynoldsburg a 50% increase, Groveport Madison a 61% increase and Whitehall a 68% increase.

This year’s reappraisal process is not intended to increase or decrease taxes but to keep property values up to date with the county’s real estate market. As a result of the reappraisal, tax rates are adjusted to collect the same amount of revenue as was collected the year before on all voted millage — ballot box issues, like funding for local schools, city and township governments.

Millage is equal to one dollar for each $1,000 of taxable valuation. In Ohio, property taxes are assessed on 35% of the appraised value set by the county auditor and are calculated by multiplying the taxable value of a home — that 35% of the appraised market value — times the district’s total millage.

So, it is not a one-to-one ratio: A 40% rise in property value does not equate to a 40% increase in taxes. Here’s an example: One mill levied on a home with an appraised market value of $100,000 would produce a taxable value of $35,000 and generate $35 in revenue.

Generally, the Franklin County auditor’s office outlines the following quick rules:

If This:Then This:
Your value change is the same as the average in your district, or increases at the same rate as the average in your taxing districtYou can expect a small change in taxes
Your value change decreases more than the average in your taxing district, or decreases, but the average in your taxing district increasesYou can expect a decrease in taxes
Your value decreases, but less than the average decline in your taxing districtYou can expect a small increase in taxes
Your value increases more than other average increases in your taxing districtYou can expect an increase in taxes
(Franklin County Auditor’s Office)

Central Ohio homeowners will discover the exact impact of their property’s reevaluation when receiving their first tax bill next year.