Property Tax Resources

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Ohio Property Tax Updates

UPDATED december 2020

Legislative Efforts to Protect Ohio Taxpayers Continue

In the Summer of 2020, Siegel Jennings’ submission to the APTC for its quarterly property tax update highlighted our firm’s on-going efforts to ensure fair property taxation for Ohio taxpayers through active involvement in the Ohio legislative process.  The focal point of that submission was a proposed amendment to Ohio Revised Code 5715.19(A)(1), which would permit a commercial tenant who is wholly responsible for the property tax liability of a leased property to file a valuation complaint in its own name. 

In May of 2020, Siegel Jennings’ Managing Partner Kieran Jennings appeared before an important Committee in support of the amendment, explaining the benefits of adopting the legislation while answering questions posed by the Committee and members of the audience.  He noted the amendment would clarify language of the statute never intended to exclude a relevant party to the litigation – the tenant taxpayer – while maintaining owner’s rights to participate in Ohio tax litigation matters for their properties.

This proposed amendment has since been approved by the Ohio House of Representatives and subsequently by the Senate.  It has been returned to the House for a concurrence vote and efforts are underway to encourage members of the House to reconvene from their current adjournment.  If passed by concurrence vote, it will be sent to the Governor for final approval.

Also spearheaded by Siegel Jennings is House Bill 38, Amendment 0449-5, Property Pandemic Impact Consideration (HB 38).  HB 38 is the direct result of Mr. Jennings’s letter to Lt. Governor Jon Husted, which proposed means and methods to alleviate strain on Ohio’s economy and provide relief to Ohio taxpayers suffering from the economic repercussions of COVID-19. 

If adopted, HB 38 would temporarily permit a person authorized under existing law to file a property tax complaint alleging a reduction in a property’s valuation due to circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic even if that person or entity already filed a complaint for the same property during the current triennial period.  This temporary provision would apply to tax years 2020 through 2023.  HB 38 would also allow factfinders to consider the economic impact of COVID-19 for tax year 2020, and to adjust a property’s valuation based on that impact, if appropriate.

Under existing Ohio law as it applies to tax year 2020, properties are to be valued as of January 1, 2020, as if the pandemic never happened. Thus, under existing law, there would be no recognition of the economic reality businesses and taxpayers currently face.  Adoption of HB 38 would provide the time-sensitive opportunity for these individuals to have the effects of COVID-19 considered, even if a previous complaint was filed in the same triennial, so long as the negative economic circumstance arose after the period for which the prior complaint was filed.

HB 38 will provide much needed fairness to the real property tax valuation process as we continue to navigate this crisis.  Like the proposed amendment to 5715.19(A)(1), HB 38 has been approved by the House and Senate and is currently awaiting a concurrence vote from the House before it can be sent to the Governor for final approval.  Because the filing of complaints for tax year 2020 begins on January 1, 2021, Siegel Jennings is making every effort to ensure a decision is made as quickly as possible.

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

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