Beware valuation changes

There are various way that your taxes can increase. Voted levies are one way. When the voters approve a levy above the statutory 10 mills, the amount of money that levy will produce is fixed based on the total valuation in the two classes, residential/agricultural and non residential/agricultural, and the millage of the levy. When valuations change in subsequent years, a factor is computed to adjust the effective rates to produce the same amount approved by the voters, neither more nor less. That mean that the taxes on your real property can change even when you valuation and the levies remain the same.

When the county board of revisions lowers the valuation of a parcel, the taxes on other parcels in the same class go up. For this reason, it is imperative that a county board of revision adhere strictly to the law. The taxpayers need to be wary of valuation changes that a county board of revision makes.

There is another way that voted millage can increase, even dramatically. When a large amount amount of real property is later rule to be personal property, its valuation is removed leaving the tax burden to be borne as increases on the remaining property. Here is a recent example of such an occurrence. See the article below.

It was the failure of the auditor to properly assess the valuation that led to the overstatement on the ballots of the revenue produced by the proposed rate. Once the exaggerated amount was approved by the and the rosy projection proved unfounded, the taxpayers were left to make up the difference. A very poor decision by the Lorain County Auditor resulting from failure to identify and evaluate the risks associated with the assumptions made in determining how much revenue the levies would provide.

Original article in Morning Journal.

Page 1 of the article.
Page 2 of the article.