How the Ohio COVID-19 Tax Relief Reduces Your Commercial Property Value
Every six years, commercial property owners in Ohio face a reassessment of their property values conducted by their local County Auditor’s office. Typically, owners can only contest these values once every three years. But we all know that 2020 was anything but typical.
Regular property tax contests are valued as of January 1 of the tax year in question. For instance, those contesting their property taxes for the tax year 2020 will be contesting their property’s value as it existed on January 1, 2020. However, the Federal Government did not declare the pandemic a national emergency until March 13, 2020, which impacted commercial real estate for a significant portion of the year.
Contesting Your Property Value Under New Ohio COVID-19 Legislation in 3 Steps
In April of this year, Governor DeWine signed legislation (Sub S.B. 57) that creates an opportunity for commercial property owners affected by the COVID-19 pandemic to make a special contest of their property values as of October 1, 2020. This date will encompass the impact of the pandemic and will be allowed as a second contest within the three-year allowable period.
The COVID-19 pandemic impacted many businesses. Still, it is essential to note that this opportunity has to prove there was an impact on commercial real estate value and not just on the business itself. To know if your commercial property in Ohio could qualify, here are the steps you can take:
- Consult with a commercial real estate appraiser
No one will be better able to tell you if there’s an impact on your property value than a certified real estate appraiser. To determine whether you have a potential case, appraisers will need information from you: financials for your property leading up to October 1, 2020, changes in vacancy, and any other relevant information to the property that arose as a direct result of the pandemic. If an appraiser believes you have a case, then they’ll recommend officially filing with the County Board of Revision. Though an appraisal is not required to file, the Board of Revision hearing requires an appraisal report.
- Engage qualified legal counsel who specializes in property tax law
A regular property tax contest allows a commercial property owner to represent themselves at the County Board of Revision hearing (though we don’t recommend it). For this special COVID-19 property tax scenario, you will want to engage a legal professional specializing in real estate and has experience with contesting property taxes. The industry has not yet seen this process, and you will want guidance on how to proceed for your best chances at success.
- File your official tax complaint with the County Board of Revision
The period to file a complaint for all counties in Ohio is open beginning, August 3, 2021, through September 2, 2021, only. Your legal counsel will assist you in filing this paperwork, and it is imperative to submit it correctly to ensure it can be processed and considered. It is helpful to submit supporting documentation (such as your real estate appraisal) with your complaint but it is not necessary.
Getting Started With The Ohio Property Tax Contest Process
The remaining steps of the process will be similar to the regular Ohio property tax contest process. (See our property reassessment cheat sheet.)
The COVID-19 pandemic was challenging enough. If you’re looking to make this process easy, don’t wait to contact our commercial real estate appraisers at firstname.lastname@example.org or 614-221-4286 to see if we can help you lower your property value. The COVID-19 tax relief filing period will be over before you know it!