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Ohio Property Tax Updates

UPDATED june 2021

COVID-19 Emergency Tax Measures Enacted

Siegel Jennings’ recent Ohio Property Tax Updates have highlighted our firm’s efforts to ensure fair property taxation for all taxpayers through active involvement in the Ohio legislative process. Recent changes to Ohio law sought were two-fold: 1) an amendment to permit a commercial or industrial tenant who is wholly responsible for the property tax liability of a leased property to file a valuation complaint in its own name instead of in the owner’s name; and, 2) an emergency measure affording Ohio taxpayers the ability to seek relief from the negative economic impacts of COVID-19. Both measures have passed, been enacted, and go into effect on August 3, 2021.
Section 5715.19 of the Ohio Revised Code details the who, what, when, where, and why of real estate valuation complaints in Ohio. Long excluded from the “who” were tenant taxpayers wholly responsible for the property taxes under their lease. Prior to the passage of this statutory amendment, tenants were constrained to file complaints in the name of the property owner, assuming they previously negotiated the authority to do so. This alone often presented a hurdle to tenant taxpayers, further complicated by other seemingly normal aspects of litigation. For example, when the school board’s discovery sought documents from the owner and the owner had less interest in the outcome of the litigation than the tenant who was “on the hook” for the tax payments.
As amended, Section 5715.19 remedies these obstacles; eliminating the burden of owner cooperation and putting full control of the litigation in the hands of the party responsible for the taxes.
Senate Bill 57 (SB 57), a temporary emergency relief measure signed into law by Ohio Governor DeWine on April 27, 2021, provides much needed property tax relief to property owners who have been severely impacted by the COVID 19 pandemic and the government stay-at-home orders.
Available only to those taxpayers who can affirmatively demonstrate a negative economic impact on their property caused by COVID-19, the measures provide relief in three ways. First, the date of valuation for these special complaints moves from January 1, 2020, to October 1, 2020. Without this change, taxpayers would have been limited to tax year 2021 complaints to prove the impacts of COVID-19. Second, taxpayers may now present, and taxing authorities must consider, evidence of how a property’s value has been negatively impacted by COVID for the 2020 tax year. Third, the restriction permitting only one complaint to be filed per triennial has been lifted, allowing affected taxpayers the ability to seek relief because of the pandemic’s impact despite a previous filing within the same three-year cycle.
Under normal circumstances, Ohio complaints must be filed between January 1 and March 31 of the year following the relevant tax year. Accounting for the April 2021 passage of SB 57, the legislature has provided a 30-day window in which to files these special COVID related complaints. Taxpayers seeking relief have from the effective date of the Bill of August 3, 2021 through September 2, 2021 to file their complaints.


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

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