Franklin County Auditor Clarence Mingo and other experts answered basic questions about setting property-tax values.
Franklin County Auditor Clarence Mingo and other experts answered basic questions about setting property-tax values:
Q. Why does the county put a value on my house?
A. To figure your fair share of property taxes. Schools, county and municipal governments, the zoo, libraries, parks and social services all depend on Franklin County property taxes. The tax rates are applied to the value of your property to determine the amount you owe.
Q. Shouldn’t the open market determine value?
A. It is one of the factors. The auditor’s office sends appraisers out to every property every six years (previously in 2011) to set the value that is used for tax purposes. Values are updated every three years (such as this year’s adjustment) and whenever a structure is built, remodeled or damaged.
Q. How do officials determine the value?
A. The size, features and quality of new or remodeled buildings are reviewed and the rough cost of their construction determined. That number is adjusted for the building’s age and the desirability of its location. Nearby arms-length sales in the past three years are compared to determine whether the current appraised value needs to be adjusted.
Q. Are foreclosures considered?
A. No. State law says counties may not use sheriff sales and other foreclosure transactions to determine market values.
Q. I want to sell my house. Does a lower tax value mean I have to lower the asking price?
A. No. The price you seek when you sell your house is determined mostly by the prices buyers have paid for similar houses in your area, said Upper Arlington real-estate agent Milt Lustnauer, who is president of Columbus Realtors.
Q. How can I challenge the new value?
A. Between Aug. 25 and Sept. 24, appraisers will be available at 18 Informal Value Reviews scheduled throughout central Ohio. Dates, locations and times are listed at www.franklincountyauditor.com.