Property-value settlement will net six figures for Pickerington Schools

NATE ELLIS
nellis@thisweeknews.com
ThisWeek group

Pickerington Schools is expected to see an uptick in revenue from local apartments after settling a property-value dispute with the complex's owners.

The school district will receive an additional $90,859.42 in payments in lieu of taxes from Overland Park LLC in tax years 2019, 2020 and 2021, according to the settlement.

Provided the Franklin County Auditor's Office doesn't revalue the Overland Park property, that's a total influx of $272,578.26 – based solely on the additional payments – that will come to the district during the three tax years as a result of a June 2 settlement the district reached with the company.

When combined with the amount Overland Park already was set to pay the district based on the Fairfield County Auditor's valuation of the company's property at 201 Courtright East Road, the district will receive $289,041.45 in each of the three tax years.

"We do, occasionally, a survey of commercial properties that seem to have had a recent sale where the sale is occasionally higher than what the auditor's value is on a piece of property," said Ryan Jenkins, Pickerington Schools treasurer. "The Overland Park property is a new apartment complex."

According to a "direct-payment agreement" unanimously approved by the Pickerington school board June 2, the county auditor assigned a fair-market value to the property of approximately $13.56 million.

According to the auditor's office, the site is roughly 25 acres and includes 403 apartments.

After the district conducted an assessment of the property, district officials said they believed its value was approximately $20.3 million, and they filed a complaint with the Fairfield County Board of Revisions March 20 to have a new value assigned.

A board of revisions hearing was slated June 4, but the two sides were able to reach an agreement, placing the Overland Park property value at roughly $19.77 million.

"There wasn't formal mediation," Jenkins said. "We filed the complaint.

"The owner's lawyer reached out to discuss what settlement might look like. The (company's and district's) attorneys had a little 'back and forth,' but quickly came to the proposed agreement noted above."

Jenkins said he was satisfied with the outcome, and the matter costs the district $2,000 in attorneys' fees "at most."

Representatives of Overland Park didn't return a call seeking comment on the matter.

According to the settlement agreement, Overland Park will pay a sum of $289,041.45 for the tax years 2019, 2020 and 2021.

After that, the auditor's office is scheduled to conduct its next triennial reappraisal of the property. That will determine how much the property owner would pay in the future.

nellis@thisweeknews.com

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