Though tentative valuations done by the Franklin County Auditor's Office reflect an overall drop in property values in Canal Winchester, those declines don't hold true across the board.

Though tentative valuations done by the Franklin County Auditor’s Office reflect an overall drop in property values in Canal Winchester, those declines don’t hold true across the board.

“Not everyone’s property decreased in value,” said David O’Neil, communications director for the auditor’s office. “Even in communities where overall values were decreased, there’s fluctuation.”

According to information from the auditor’s office, this year’s revaluations show an average 12-percent decline in values for the Canal Winchester area, putting it near the bottom of the list of 25 Franklin County municipalities.

The average tentative decrease in property values for Franklin County as a whole is 6.71 percent.

Commercial, industrial and agricultural properties fared the best, according to data provided by the auditor’s office, while most residential properties saw a decline in value.

A total of 5,201 properties were reviewed in Canal Winchester. Of those, only 48 properties saw no change in value.

Values increased for 751 properties by an average of $22,527. However, 4,402 properties — primarily residential — saw an average decline in value of $18,269.

According to data from the auditor’s office, two of the largest declines in value were for a development on Pintail Creek Drive owned by the Franklin County Metropolitan Housing Authority and for a Lehman Village apartment/condominium development on Brandon Village Way.

The Pintail Creek Drive property valuation dropped from $8,912,800 to $7.1 million, which represents a lost value of $1,812,800.

The valuation on the Brandon Village Way property fell from $6,103,900 to $5,603,900, representing a loss of $500,000.

The two most significant increases in valuation, according to auditor’s office information, were for a low-income apartment development owned by Georges Creek LP and for T S Trim’s Gender Road property.

The apartment development valuation of $2,940,000 was adjusted upward to $5 million, an increase of $2,060,000.

The T S Trim property valuation went from $1.9 million to $3,526,500, an increase of $1,626,500.

O’Neil said several factors contribute to property value increases; these can include renovations or additions, as well as changes in adjacent properties and related sales data.

“We look at the sales info and the individual characteristics of each home. This isn’t an arbitrary process,” he said.

The city is optimistic about residential growth, however.

“We actually continue to have new properties proposed for residential redevelopment,” Canal Winchester development director Lucas Haire said. “We’ve got more homes under construction now than we’ve had in recent years. We’ve got 18 homes under construction, so it (the market) isn’t slowing residential growth in Canal Winchester.”

One thing that can be confusing for property owners is the connection between property values and tax revenue.

House Bill 920, which became law in 1976, effectively freezes voted property millage at the dollar amount collected in the first year a levy goes into effect. Because of this, property values and tax revenues are not a one-for-one ratio.

As property values increase, the law mandates that effective millage rates of most levies must decrease. Similarly, if property values decrease, the effective millage rates can increase, as long as they don’t exceed the voted dollar amount, according to information from the Ohio Department of Taxation.

Throughout September, representatives from Franklin County Auditor Clarence Mingo’s office have held informal sessions at various locations with property owners to give them a chance to present evidence in support of either an increased or decreased property value.

According to the auditor’s website, all property values will be finalized in November for the December tax billing cycle. Owners who disagree with their final property values will then have until April 2, 2012, to file a formal complaint with the Franklin County Board of Revision.

More information, including proposed tentative property values, is available online at www.franklincountyauditor. com.