Bookmark this page on your mobile

QR Code image

What is this?

Daily Court Reporter - News Proposal designed to clarify property value challenges


Proposal designed to clarify property value challenges

KEITH ARNOLD, Daily Reporter Staff Writer

The Ohio House of Representatives recently passed a bill codifying recent Ohio Supreme Court rulings that determined it is counter to state law to dismiss a property owner's challenge to property valuation on the basis of the misidentification of the property owner.

The bill's sponsor, Monclova Republican Rep. Derek Merrin, described the circumstance in which such a problem may arise.

"For example, John Smith owns a home; he files a complaint claiming his property is valued incorrectly," Merrin said during sponsor testimony. "Mr. Smith files the complaint listing himself as the property owner, but the true property owner on record may be John Smith LLC, John Smith Trust, John P. Smith, John Smith and spouse, or John Smith and business partner.

"In each scenario, the listed owner of the property is not fully accurate, and could be dismissed by a (county) Board of Revision."

The state Supreme Court ruled in favor of the complainants in James Navratil Development Company v. Medina County Board. of Revision (2014) and Groveport Madison Local Schools Board of Education v. Franklin County Board of Revision (2013), reasoning the subject property is identified by parcel, as well as address, on any such complaint, rendering moot the argument for dismissal on the basis of an incomplete, partial or incorrect owner name.

"The name of the owner is irrelevant when determining the value of a property," Merrin said.

Current law does not require a complaint form to correctly identify the property owner, according to Ohio Legislative Service Commission analysis of House Bill 118.

"The bill expressly codifies these decisions, explicitly prohibiting a board of revision from dismissing a property tax complaint on the ground that it fails to properly identify the property owner," Sam Benham wrote for the commission.

It specifically requires the both the county auditor and the board of revision to exercise due diligence to ensure the correct property owner is notified if the complaint form does not correctly identify the property owner.

Continuing law requires a county auditor, who also serves as the secretary of the board of revision, to give notice to the property owner within 30 days after a complaint is filed if the complainant is a party other than the owner.

Additionally, a board of revision is required to notify a property owner of the time and location of any hearing scheduled on a complaint filed against the owner's property at least 10 days before the hearing.

Dan Acton, Government Affairs director of the Ohio Real Estate Investors Association, shared anecdotal instances of the problem among members of the investors association.

He characterized the circumstances as minor errors, misspellings or transposition of numbers that shouldn't undermine the integrity of the application for reduction of the intended property.

"OREIA supports this bill because ... investors operate on razor-thin profit margins for a property," Acton offered in testimony. "An unexpected repair, a tenant who does not pay rent, terminates a lease early or vacates without notice, unpaid water bills, or any layering of government fees that we are subjected to reduce the profits for a property owner that could otherwise be used to reduce the overall debt on the property.

"The opportunity to challenge a property tax is one of the tools that our members utilize to try to squeeze precious resources out of properties."

He said a dismissal of an otherwise legitimate challenge to property valuation can effectively wipe out an investor owner's profit margin with additional attorney fees and delays.

Merrin said rather than having to rely on case citation, Ohio property owners need only point to state law to offer direction to their board of revision with the pass of HB 118.

"I do believe the vast majority of Boards of Revision are following the Supreme Court ruling and do their best to ensure complaints are heard despite a technical error, such as misidentifying the property owner," he said. "However, there are 88 county boards of revision that handle thousands of complaints annually, and it's impossible to know if they are all following the law, the Supreme Court's ruling, or are aware of the ruling.

"With my research, I have talked to county auditors, board of revision members and attorneys that have extensive experience with (these) cases. As a result, I do believe this legislation is necessary and will make the board of revision process better across the state."

HB 118, which won the support of 15 cosponsors, cleared the House unanimously.

The measure awaits Senate consideration.

Date Published: May 30, 2017


Copyright © 2017 The Daily Reporter - All Rights Reserved


Unless prohibited by contract, arbitrator free to set penalty for workplace rule violation

The Ohio Supreme Court recently reinstated an arbitrator’s decision that a Findlay Police sergeant deserved a long suspension rather than termination for behavior unbecoming a police officer.

OCLC, Wikipedia link citations to library materials

The Dublin based Online Computer Library Center, more commonly known as OCLC, announced recently a partnership with Wikimedia Foundation's Wikipedia Library that would result in access to millions of additional library materials for wiki editors.

Former state trooper charged with cyberstalking, deprivation of rights under color of law

(Columbus) A former law enforcement officer has been arrested and charged by criminal complaint with cyberstalking and deprivation of rights under color of law.

Injured worker must appeal to higher court to regain preexisting condition benefits

When a pre-existing condition is aggravated by a workplace injury, the state will provide benefits until the condition returns to the level before the on-the-job injury. An injured workers’ right to appeal the elimination of the benefits are limited, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled recently.

Secretary Husted issues post-2016 general election report on voter fraud

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted today released the post-general election voter fraud report based on a review of cases by Ohio’s 88 county boards of elections and the Secretary of State’s Office following the 2016 Presidential Election. The report identified 153 irregularities with 52 individuals being referred for additional investigation or prosecution. Of those cases referred, 22 were identified by the Secretary of State’s Office as having voted in Ohio and another state.

Proposal would divert some oil, gas revenue to local municipalities

A bill championed by a pair of lawmakers from the state's shale region would invest some of the money currently diverted to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Oil and Gas Well Fund into the coffers of the perennially cash strapped communities of the region.

BWC investigative unit closes 7 fraud cases in April

Office manager gets diversion program for fudging payroll reports

Proposal would exempt fantasy sports contests from Ohio's gambling law

A bill that exempts fantasy sports contests from state gambling law continues to advance through a committee in the Ohio House of Representatives.

Treasurer Josh Mandel and Ohio’s public university leaders announce launch of first public university checkbooks on

Bowling Green State University and Central State University become first public universities in Ohio to post checkbook level expenditures online

Proposal designed to clarify property value challenges

The Ohio House of Representatives recently passed a bill codifying recent Ohio Supreme Court rulings that determined it is counter to state law to dismiss a property owner's challenge to property valuation on the basis of the misidentification of the property owner.

Woman sentenced to 10 years in prison, son to seven years for $8 million home healthcare fraud

A Cleveland Heights woman was sentenced to 10 years in prison for leading a $8 million healthcare fraud conspiracy in which participants provided forged documents and fraudulent forms to bill for services that were not provided, law enforcement officials said.

Air Force releases annual sexual assault report

Air Force reports of sexual assault increased slightly in fiscal year 2016, according to the service’s annual report on sexual assault released May 1.

The University of Dayton is creating futures

The Princeton Review listed the University of Dayton among the best schools in the nation for undergraduate academics and experiential learning in its book Colleges That Create Futures: 50 Schools That Launch Careers by Going Beyond the Classroom.

Wright-Patterson Medical Center unveils new surgical robot

Certain surgeries at Wright-Patterson Medical Center, may now be performed by a surgeon wielding surgical tools via robotic arms, thanks to a $2.4 million device officially unveiled April 20.

The Cincinnati Zoo’s Baby Fiona update

Fiona has some new incisor tusks peeking through on top and also some lower dental development. She enjoys the dental check and mouth massage, so it’s easy for care staff to assess growth.

WSU’s Brown sets 5000 meter run school record at Dillard Twilight

Senior Alexandra Brown of the track team set a school record in the 5000 meter run Friday as she competed in the Harrison Dillard Twilight, hosted by Baldwin-Wallace University.

Dayton’s Fisher, Abubakar receive Arthur Ashe Sports Scholar Award

The University of Dayton had two more student-athletes honored in the latest Diverse: Issues in Higher Education magazine for the 2016-17 school year.

Vine & Canvas: Women & Wine

Great art meets great wine in this popular series! Sample a variety of wines, all tied to a specific museum theme.

‘Significant acts of dishonesty” lead to indefinite suspension of attorney

The Ohio Supreme Court recently indefinitely suspended a Columbus attorney who deliberately made false statements during legal proceedings, disobeyed rules in multiple courts, and engaged in dishonest conduct throughout his disciplinary proceedings.

Ohio exports fell 3.9 percent last year

Exports from Ohio slipped slightly last year due in no small part to an 8.1 percent drop in exports of automobiles and auto parts.