Ohio passed H.B. 126, effective on July 21, 2022. This new law changes the procedures for school boards to file appeals and counterclaims to challenge property tax valuations. Many of the changes set forth below will be seen in tax year 2022, for upcoming matters in calendar year 2023.

School Board Complaint Initiation Limitations

School boards can only initiate their own complaints as to commercial properties in a limited capacity. They can no longer initiate complaints to residential and agricultural properties.

In their limited capacity to initiate complaints against commercial properties, school boards can only file property tax complaints when: (1) the property was sold in a recent arm's length transaction in the year before the tax lien date that the complaint is filed, and (2) the sale price is at least 10 percent and $500,000 more than the auditor's value. This $500,000 threshold will increase with inflation.

Before initiating a property tax complaint against a commercial property, school boards must first adopt a resolution authorizing the complaint at a public meeting. The resolution cannot identify more than one parcel except when a parcel has the same owner. School boards must also notify property owners at least seven calendar days before a resolution is adopted. After a resolution passes, school boards must check a box on the property tax complaint form confirming that a resolution authorizing the complaint was passed and that the owner was given notice. Without a school board resolution, the Board of Revision will not have jurisdiction over the complaint.

Parties Can No Longer Enter into Private Payment Agreements Starting July 21, 2022

Also starting on July 21, 2022, school boards are prohibited from entering into private payment agreements with property owners.

Additional Procedural Changes, Limited Appeal Rights, and Requirements

To file a counter-complaint, school boards must file within 30 days after the original complaint is filed. School boards no longer receive mandatory notice of original complaints and can only file counter-complaints if the original complaint sought a change of at least $17,500 in taxable value.

A Board of Revision will only have jurisdiction over property tax complaints for one year after the complaint is filed. If the Board of Revision has not rendered a decision within one year, they must dismiss the original complaint.

While property owners can still appeal decisions by the Board of Revision, school boards can only appeal a Board of Revision decision to the Board of Tax Appeals if it is with respect to their own property.

In Ohio, property values are reappraised every six years and updated every three years by county auditors.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.