The Complaint Process
The January, 2019 tax bills reflect the values determined by the County Auditor as of January, 2018. Changes may occur due to physical changes to the property such as an addition or demolition of a building. Tax dollars may have changed due to levies passed in this November’s election or any other primary or special election. Property owners may ask valuation changes through the County Board of Revision.The Board of Revision adjusts values not tax dollars. The Board of Revision has three members; the County Auditor, the County Treasurer and the President of the County Commissioners or their designees. To contest your valuation you must file a complaint form with the County Auditor, in his capacity as Secretary to the Board of Revision, by April 2, 2018. Complaint forms can be obtained in the Auditor's Office located at 160 High St. N.W., Warren, Ohio or by calling 330-675-2420.
The filing of a complaint DTE Form 1 is an initiation of a legal proceeding. Please read the instructions on the back of the complaint form. An incomplete or flawed form may result in a dismissal. If you have any questions regarding the filing of a complaint please consult your attorney. It is unlawful for Auditor’s employees to give legal advice. Generally, the Ohio Revised Code allows only one filing in a triennial (3 year) period.
You must enter a value for your property on line 8. The property value is the basis for your complaint, not taxes. By law you cannot contest taxes. You absolutely must fill in this line in order for your complaint to be valid. Make sure your complaint is notarized.
Please bear in mind that once a complaint form has been filed by the owner or his/her attorney and later withdrawn, it will count as an official filing for this triennial period.
Proving Your Case
The burden of proof is on the complainant, usually the property owner. Failure to meet that burden may result in no change in value or possibly an increase in value. The Board of Revision has the authority to increase, decrease or make no change in the valuation of your property. Based on Ohio case law, the Board of Revision cannot and will not consider the following in their decision:
a percentage of increase in your taxes, and
the difference between your valuation and your neighbor's valuation
The Board will determine the fair market value of your property based on the information submitted to them. The Board can consider:
sales of similar properties
independent fee appraisals
estimates of cost to repair deficiencies in your property
if the property has recently been sold, supporting documentation such as the closing statement and purchase contract, and
if the property is income producing, income and expense statements
Owner of Record
The owner of record (or deeded owner) as of the date of filing must be on Line 1 of the complaint form. Line 2 and Line 5 must be specific if the filer is other than the owner.
Parcels must be contiguous and/or one economic unit and in the same taxing district, and have ownership. When in doubt, file separate complaints.
You will be notified by certified mail not less than ten days in advance of the date and time of your hearing. If a continuance is needed, notify the Assistant Secretary of the Board of Revision immediately. The Board of Revision has instructed the Assistant Secretary to fully comply with their rules that continuances only be granted in extreme circumstances. Read your hearing notice carefully. Failure to appear at the assigned date and time will likely result in dismissal of your case.
(B) Within thirty days after the last date such complaints may be filed, the auditor shall give notice of each complaint in which the stated amount of overvaluation, undervaluation, discriminatory valuation, illegal valuation, or incorrect determination is at least seventeen thousand five hundred dollars to each property owner whose property is the subject of the complaint, if the complaint was not filed by the owner or the owner's spouse, and to each board of education whose school district may be affected by the complaint. Within thirty days after receiving such notice, a board of education; a property owner; the owner's spouse; an individual who is retained by such an owner and who holds a designation from a professional assessment organization, such as the institute for professionals in taxation, the national council of property taxation, or the international association of assessing officers; a public accountant who holds a permit under section 4701.10 of the Revised Code, a general or residential real estate appraiser licensed or certified under Chapter 4763. of the Revised Code, or a real estate broker licensed under Chapter 4735. of the Revised Code, who is retained by such a person; or, if the property owner is a firm, company, association, partnership, limited liability company, corporation, or trust, an officer, a salaried employee, a partner, a member, or trustee of that property owner, may file a complaint in support of or objecting to the amount of alleged overvaluation, undervaluation, discriminatory valuation, illegal valuation, or incorrect determination stated in a previously filed complaint or objecting to the current valuation. Upon the filing of a complaint under this division, the board of education or the property owner shall be made a party to the action.
If a B.O.R. hearing continuance is granted then the hearing must be conducted by September 1 of the year the appeal is presented. If September 1 falls on a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday then the next business day will be considered the last day to have a hearing.