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Ohio Property Tax Updates

UPDATED june 2024

Three Appellate Courts Find Ohio Boards of Education Lack Standing to Appeal Board of Revision Decisions to the Court of Common Pleas

House Bill 126 was signed into law on April 21, 2022. Its effective date was 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), and limitations on who may appeal BOR decisions.  The bill amended Ohio Revised Code 5715.19, which regulates who may file a tax valuation complaint, and amended code section 5717.01, which governs appeals from BOR decisions.

Introduced and passed quickly, the bill continues to be subject to extensive scrutiny.

Prior to revision, 5717.01 authorized boards of education to appeal decisions from the BOR to the Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) without restriction.  The amended statute, however, permits a school board to appeal to the BTA only if that school board owns or leases the property identified on the original complaint.

RC 2506.01 governs appeals from decisions of agency of political subdivisions and disallows appeals to the court of common pleas (CCP) if a higher administrative authority provides a right to a hearing on appeal.  No longer having the ability to appeal to the BTA (or any other higher administrative authority), school boards began appealing to Ohio CCPs.  They make the argument that the removal of their appeal rights through amended 5717.01 creates an independent right of appeal to the CCP.    Many of those courts have dismissed those appeals, finding the BOE lacked statutory standing to file an appeal.  In turn, school boards have appealed to Ohio appellate courts.

In response, the Third, Fifth, and Eighth District Courts of Appeal have found no error in the underlying trial court decisions dismissing BOE appeals for lack of standing.  The courts of appeal have recognized that 2506.01 does not explicitly identify who has standing to bring an appeal, but note that the statute does require a party to identify an independent statutory provision that expressly authorizes an appeal.  5715.05 specifically allows a property owner to appeal to the court of common pleas.  It does not confer that right to that school board.  Finding no independent right of appeal, the Courts have found no error in the court of common pleas dismissals.

Fifth District decisions on the issue have been appealed to the Ohio Supreme Court, although jurisdiction has yet to be granted.  Appellees have until July 5, 2024 to file their briefs in opposition to jurisdiction.  Updates will follow as the appeals progress.

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

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