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Ohio Property Tax Updates

UPDATED december 2023

House Bill 126’s Challenges Continue: Tenth District Court Second to Reverse Board of Tax Appeals Decisions Regarding HB 126, Constitutional Claim Progresses at Franklin County Court of Common Pleas

Ohio Governor DeWine signed House Bill 126 into law on April 21, 2022. The law went into effect on July 21, 2022. The bill imposes limitations on when a school district can file a property tax complaint with an Ohio county board of revision (BOR).  The bill amended Ohio Revised Code 5715.19, which regulates who may file a tax valuation complaint.  The bill also amended code section 5717.01, which governs appeals from BOR decisions.

Introduced and passed quickly, the bill has been subject to extensive scrutiny. 

The Ohio Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) decided in October of 2022 that a political subdivision that has filed a 2021 tax year complaint or counter-complaint cannot appeal any BOR decision issued after July 21, 2022.

The BTA’s October 2022 decision was challenged, and the Third District Court of Appeals recently issued a decision reversing and remanding the BTA decision.  In relevant part, the appellate court held:

“there is no plain reference whatsoever in the amended statute to its applicability to appeals filed prior to the effective date of the statute or, as is the case here, to appeals in pending actions. The General Assembly’s failure to include such language means that the amended version of R.C. 5717.01 can only be applied prospectively.

On August 2, 2023, the Taxpayer appealed the Third District decision to the Supreme Court of Ohio, and the Supreme Court has since accepted jurisdiction over the matter.

On October 19, 2023, the Tenth District Court of Appeals likewise reversed 12 BTA dismissals related to HB 126.  The Court found the new appeal exception from RC 5717.01, that went into effect on 7/21/22, "applies only to appeals from decisions on 'original complaints' or 'counter-complaints' filed after 7/21/22.”  Because the school boards filed their complaints in these cases while the former version of R.C. 5715.19 remained in effect, they are not 'subdivision[s] that file[d] an original complaint or counter-complaint' and are therefore not subject to the exception added to R.C. 5717.01 by H.B. 126. R.C. 5717.01. 

Finally, the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas has a trial assigned for March 12, 2024 related to HB 126.  Six Franklin County school boards and one individual property owner have challenged the bill’s constitutionality, claiming it violates both equal protection and due process clauses of the Ohio and United States Constitutions, along with claiming the bill is violative of the Ohio Constitution’s uniform taxation rule.  Motion practice is ongoing, and Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost has filed a motion to dismiss, citing, among other things, a lack of standing, an inability for the school boards to bring due process or equal protection claims against the state, and a lack of injury in fact suffered by the school boards.

Updates will follow as these matters continue to be litigated.

Kristopher Nicoloff
Siegel Jennings Co., L.P.A. 
American Property Tax Counsel (APTC)

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