COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — A “perfect storm scenario” is leading to a historic increase in property values and taxes as mass reappraisals are underway in several central Ohio counties. 

The state-required reappraisal process that will release new evaluations for every property in August will likely increase Franklin County values between 30% and 35%, according to county Auditor Michael Stinziano. Across central Ohio, increased value estimates range from 20% to 43%, with Delaware and Licking counties anticipating a 35% increase and Pickaway County an increase of 30%.

“We’re in a perfect storm scenario where you’ve got the hot real estate market, our historic lack of housing, which creates high demand, and ongoing population growth,” said Stinziano. 

How will the increase impact taxes? 

Property taxes are calculated by multiplying the taxable value of a home, 35% of the assessed value set by the county auditor, times the effective tax rate designated by the home’s district. The primary variable in the equation is the district’s tax rate that varies across central Ohio based on ballot box issues, like school levies. 

“It really is going to depend on what’s on the ballot,” said Stinziano. “Good news is, it’s not a dollar-for-dollar match. But, there could be situations where something comes on that could result in a higher property tax.” 

Counties are required to reappraise real estate every six years — the process underway in Franklin County — and update their values every three years. Along with Franklin County, Delaware, Licking and Pickaway counties are completing reappraisals in 2023. Ashland, Athens, Knox, Madison and Noble counties are updating.

The reappraisal process is much more intensive, while a three-year update only assesses home sale data. Stinziano noted Franklin’s County’s last update in 2020 increased values roughly 20%, leading to a tax increase of about 7.8%.

A Statehouse bill to change the process 

Regardless of whether a county is updating values or completing a reappraisal, all Ohio auditors must use Ohio Department of Taxation data collected within the last year to propose the new values.

However, Rep. Adam Bird (R-New Richmond) and Rep. Thomas Hall (R-Madison Twp.) have introduced the Homeowners Relief Act at the Ohio Statehouse to modify the procedure required by the tax department. The legislators 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 Commissioner’s office,” said Bird in a statement

The bill would require the department and county auditors to set property values based on data from the past three years, instead of one year. Bird and Hall said the legislation’s introduction is a result of anticipated increases and was designed to coordinate with county reappraisals.

A hearing for the Homeowners Relief Act has not yet been set.

How to track the reappraisal process in Franklin County 

Stinziano’s office has launched a “one-stop shop” site to ensure the process is transparent and accessible for homeowners. Titled the 2023 Know Your Home Value, the site displays an interactive timeline of the reappraisal process through December.

“The Know Your Home Value website not only explains how and what the office is doing, it presents options for homeowners who want their voices to be heard regarding their home values,” said Stinziano. 

The timeline shows that the auditor’s office sent the new proposed property values to the Ohio Department of Taxation in May before the tentative values are available for review online and mailed to the owner in August. 

Owners who disagree with the assigned value can meet with the auditor’s office through September before property values are finalized in December. Answers to frequently asked questions and the ability to request an auditor’s office speaker who can explain the process to neighborhood groups is also available on the site.