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Property Tax Resources

Jan
01

Ohio Property Tax Updates

UPDATED december 2021

Ohio Senate Passes House Bill 126

Revised Code 5715.19 regulates who may file a complaint against the valuation of real estate in Ohio.  On December 15, 2021, the Ohio Senate passed House Bill No. 126 (HB 126), which proposes to change 5715.19 in several significant ways.

Ohio is currently one of very few states that permits its local school boards and political subdivisions (board of county commissioners, board of trustees, mayors, etc.) to file complaints challenging the value of real estate in their respective areas of jurisdiction.  After property owners, school boards file the overwhelming majority of valuation complaints in Ohio.  If adopted as law, HB 126 will:

  • prohibit any person or political subdivision from filing a property tax complaint with respect to property that the person or political subdivision does not own, effectively eliminating the right of school boards to file a property tax valuation complaint;
  • allow a school board to file a counter-complaint only if the school board first adopts a formal resolution authorizing the counter-complaint;
  • prohibit a school board that has filed a counter-complaint from appealing the decision of a board of revision; and,
  • prohibit parties from agreeing to settlements that involve payments directly to the school board, which are generally in exchange for complaint/appeal dismissals, and in lieu of increased valuations.

If signed into law by the Governor, these changes will reshape the practice of real property tax litigation for attorneys representing both school boards and taxpayers alike.  It is anticipated that the bill will be put to a concurrence vote in the Ohio House of Representatives early in the first quarter of 2022 and, if passed, will be put in front of the Governor shortly thereafter.  Our firm anticipates having much more on the subject in its First Quarter 2022 APT submission.

Ohio Tax Year 2021 Property Tax Assessment Review Period Approaching

Ohio counties are currently in the process of certifying property values and will begin mailing out property tax bills for tax year 2021 (pay 2022) soon.  The window to formally challenge these values is open from January 3 through March 31, 2022.  Early analysis by a professional familiar with local assessors, opposing counsel, and relevant assessment law will optimize your chances of obtaining appropriate relief.

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

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Jan
01

Oklahoma Property Tax Updates

UPDATED December 2021

Early Bird Gets the Worm

New clarifications to Oklahoma law may provide taxpayers with an opportunity to reduce property values due to depreciation. Oklahoma House Bill 2775, effective November 1, 2021, amends the statute defining the cost approach to include all forms of depreciation, including explicit definitions for functional and economic or external obsolescence. Most Oklahoma assessors utilize the cost approach in valuing commercial real and personal property. The newly codified definitions should provide taxpayers with legal authority to have assessors consider other forms of depreciation in the cost approach. With their initial renditions, taxpayers should submit documentation or data to the assessors that evidences or supports other forms of depreciation, such as economic obsolescence. The supporting information could include declining revenues, margins, or utilization of commercial property. If taxpayers are proactive about providing support for depreciation early in the assessment process, they may be much more likely to “get the worm” of recognized depreciation.


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Elias, Books, Brown & Nelson, P.C. 
American Property Tax Counsel (APTC)

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Jan
01

Oregon Property Tax Updates

UPDATED december 2021

Property Under Construction and Maximum Assessed Value

There can be confusion when property under construction is first assessed as 100 percent completed under Oregon’s two-tiered property assessment.  The Oregon Tax Court recently confirmed that the assessor may only assess property that is in place as of January 1.   Taxpayer’s home was 56 percent complete as of January 1, 2019 and the parties entered into a settlement that placed a maximum assessment (MAV) value and real market value (RMV) based on a partially completed home.  The County determined that Plaintiffs’ property was 100 percent complete as of January 1, 2020, thus requiring it to compute additional value to the MAV for the 2020-21 tax year.  Taxpayer challenged the MAV as being above the 3 percent constitutional limitation. 

In Oregon real property is assessed on the lesser of its real market value (RMV) or its maximum assessed value (MAV).  ORS 308.146(2).  While a property’s real market value can change dramatically from year to year, the MAV of a property can only increase by three percent each year, unless exceptions to the general rule, such as new property improvements, allow for a greater increase.  ORS 308.146; 308.153.

New property and new improvements not subject to the three percent limit are defined as changes in the property value resulting from, “[n]ew construction, reconstruction, major additions, remodeling, renovation or rehabilitation of property” and are “integral part[s] of the land or improvements on the assessment date.”  ORS 308.149(6)(a)(A); 308.153(3)(a)(A).  When improvements are made during the year, they are added to the property tax account as of the January 1 assessment date of the following tax year.  See Chart Development Corp. v. Dept. of Rev., 17 OTR 170, 171 (2003) (explaining in which situations MAV is subject to recalculation).  For new property and new improvements, the real market value of the new improvements is multiplied by the changed property ratio (CPR) and added to the existing maximum assessed value.  ORS 308.153(1).  The CPR is “the ratio of average maximum assessed value to average real market value of property located in the area in which the property is located that is within the same property class.”  Or Const, Art XI, § 11(1)(c); see also ORS 308.153(1)(b).  The value of new improvements is “the real market value” of the new improvements less the real market value of any retirements. ORS 308.153(2)(a).

Cynthia M Fraser

Foster Garvey 
American Property Tax Counsel (APTC)

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Jan
01

Pennsylvania Property Tax Updates

UPDATED December 2021

DRAMATIC DROP IN ALLEGHENY COUNTY (PITTSBURGH) ASSESSMENT RATIO FOR TAX YEAR 2022 PRESENTS OPPORTUNITY FOR SAVINGS

Taxpayers in the Pittsburgh area (Allegheny County, Pennsylvania) have an opportunity to ring in additional tax savings in the 2022 New Year due a significant drop in the assessment-to-market value ratio.

Pennsylvania does not require regular county-wide reassessments.  It has already been a decade since Allegheny County’s last reassessment in 2012.  Rather than reassess periodically, Pennsylvania uses a one-size-fits-all band-aid by issuing one ratio each year for each county which is intended to approximate the ratio between the current market and the assessment at the time of the last reassessment. 

For tax year 2022, the new ratio is 81.1% - which is a huge drop from the prior 2021 ratio of 87.5%.  Allegheny County’s ratio has been essentially flat for the last 7 years as shown by this chart:

2015    87.1%

2016    87.4%

2017    87.5%

2018    86.2%

2019    87.5%

2020    86.2%

2021    87.5%

Why the dramatic change?  In early 2021 a lawsuit was filed against the County alleging that the County had fraudulently artificially inflated its ratio.  The lawsuit alleges that the County knowingly withheld sales from the State Tax Equalization Board that would have caused the ratio to drop.  (Note how the ratios above were identical every other year – what are the chances of that happening in a changing market?)  When the County’s 2022 ratio was published last summer it had – shockingly – dropped 6.4% in one year, which makes one wonder if the County attempted to clean up its sales as a reaction to the lawsuit.

The impact for taxpayers?  More opportunities to file appeals and seek savings.

To discuss the specifics of an appeal and the valuation of your property, please contact Siegel Jennings at:

Sharon F. DiPaolo, Esquire
Siegel Jennings, Co., L.P.A.
American Property Tax Counsel (APTC)

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Jan
01

Rhode Island Property Tax Updates

Updated December 2021

File an Account to Protect your Right of Appeal

Now is the time for Rhode Island taxpayers to preserve their right of appeal for tax year 2022 by filing an account with the local assessor. In most jurisdictions the tax year 2022 tax bill will be sent out during the summer of 2022. The tax year 2022 tax bill has an assessing date of December 31, 2021. In most cases the filing of a valid account by January 31, of each year is a prerequisite to a valid appeal. The account must describe the property, both personal and real, claim a value of the property, and be signed under oath and notarized. Occasionally the assessors do not sent out account forms or their account form does not have a real estate section. It is incumbent upon the taxpayer to seek out a form and properly complete and add a real estate description and value to it if necessary.

David G. Saliba
Saliba & Saliba
American Property Tax Counsel (APTC)

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Jan
01

South Carolina Property Tax Updates

Updated June 2011

South Carolina Enacts New Point of Sale Law

On June 14, 2011, Governor Nikki Haley signed a new law significantly amending South Carolina's controversial "point of sale" law requiring tax reassessment of properties whenever a sale has occurred. The prior law adopted in 2006, commonly known as "Act 388," placed a fifteen (15%) percent cap on reassessed values as part of the five (5) year countywide reassessment programs but sought to make up for the loss of revenue by requiring that properties be reassessed whenever there is a change of ownership.

Many in the commercial real estate market had expressed that Act 388 placed buyers of commercial properties at a significant competitive disadvantage with competitive properties whose property taxes had not increased. The new law, which does not apply to owner occupied residential properties, creates an exemption equal to twenty-five (25%) percent of any increase in valuation resulting from a change in ownership. The exemption does not permit a reduction in market value below the prior assessed value.

The new legislation leaves several important legal arguments unresolved, most notably the date of valuation for property owners whose properties have decreased in value during the middle of the countywide reassessment cycle. Although the current law calculates property taxes based on the state of the property as of December 31st of the prior year, the South Carolina Attorney General's Office issued an advisory opinion in June 2010 stating that the valuation for any mid-cycle appeal was to refer back to date of the last countywide reassessment. Many South Carolina counties are not adhering to this advisory opinion. The new legislation does not address this issue.

Morris A. Ellison
William T. Dawson
Womble Carlyle
American Property Tax Counsel (APTC)

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Jan
01

Tennessee Property Tax Updates

UPDATED december 2021

Paying Taxes on Properties Under Appeal in Tennessee

Taxpayers in Tennessee are often faced with tax payment deadlines prior to the conclusion of appeals filed to the Board of Equalization. Are taxpayers in Tennessee required to pay the taxes by the delinquency date even if the appeal is not concluded?

In Tennessee, taxes based on assessments under appeal at the County and State Boards of Equalization are not deemed delinquent while the appeal is pending, so long as the undisputed portion of tax has been paid by the delinquency date. The taxpayer may pay the amount of taxes that would be owed if the appeal is successful. Even if the taxpayer loses the appeal, the payment of the undisputed portion allows taxpayer to pay the balance due at a favorable interest rate (two points below the composite prime rate) instead of the punitive statutory rate (18% per annum).

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Evans Petree PC
American Property Tax Counsel (APTC)

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Jan
01

Texas Property Tax Updates

Updated DECEMBER 2021

A Last Chance to Challenge 2021 Property Taxes

Property owners throughout Texas are currently receiving 2021 tax bills, which are due on January 31, 2022. Although property tax valuations are generally protested before May 15 of the tax year and become final if not protested, relief may still be available.

If an owner’s tax value exceeds the correct value by more than one-third, the owner may file a motion with the county Appraisal Review Board prior to February 1, 2022 to request a value change.

However, this remedy is only available if the owner 1) did not file a protest on the property for the current tax year, or 2) the owner protested the property but did not present evidence at the administrative hearing. Further, the owner must pay the taxes on the property prior to the due date.

In addition, if a property owner is dissatisfied with the decision, the property owner may file a lawsuit in district court to contest the decision. 

Greg Hart
Popp Hutcheson, PLLC
American Property Tax Counsel (APTC)

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Jan
01

Utah Property Tax Updates

Updated march 2020

Possible Property Tax Relief Due To COVID-19 Pandemic

Owners of business properties in Utah may qualify for property tax relief as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Generally, Utah law requires property to be taxed at its fair market value as of January 1 each year.   Because COVID-19 had not impacted Utah communities as of January 1, 2020, it is unlikely that any negative impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic will be reflected in 2020 assessments.  However, Utah law contains a provision for “access interruption” that occurs after January 1 and allows an adjustment to the current year’s assessment even though the events causing a decrease in fair market value occurred after January 1. 

Utah Code Ann. § 59-2-1004.6 states, “if, during a calendar year, property sustains a decrease in fair market value that is caused by access interruption” then the property owner may apply for an adjustment to the property’s fair market value.  “Access interruption” is defined as “interruption of the normal access to or from property due to any circumstance beyond the control of the owner.” Id.  Owners may have properties, the values of which have been negatively impacted by proclamations, orders or actions denying or substantially limiting “normal access” to, or full use of, those properties during the COVID-19 pandemic.  These interruptions should qualify as “access interruption” and entitle the owner to potential property tax relief.  To obtain relief, the property owner must file an application with the County Board of Equalization “on or before September 30” and must prove “that the property sustained a decrease in fair market value during the applicable calendar year, that was caused by access interruption” and the amount of such decrease.  Id. 

Owners of business properties should pay particular attention to their property assessments to ensure that proper treatment is given to the property to account for any negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.  If the assessment does not take into account a reduction in value caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the owner may wish to seek the relief explained above. 

If you have any questions regarding this potential property tax relief, please do not hesitate to contact us.

David J. Crapo & John T. Deeds
Crapo Deeds, PLLC
American Property Tax Counsel (APTC)

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Jan
01

Virginia Property Tax Updates

UPDATED december 2020

Virginia Property Tax Liability Likely to Increase

With most Virginia jurisdictions in the midst of finalizing their 2021 assessments, municipal budget woes precipitated by COVID-19 are likely to result in a higher real estate tax burden for Virginia property owners in the coming year.

While most of the large Virginia jurisdictions delayed projected tax rate increases in 2020 as a result of the Coronavirus lockdowns, the most recent budget forecasting sessions have emphasized the rising costs of programs and services.  With retail vacancies projected to see significant increases and office and multi-family rents flat to declining, most jurisdictions are looking at projected revenue that is not sufficient to cover existing debt service, compensation and prior commitments, even before addressing any further priorities.

For real estate tax purposes, this is likely to result in assessors relying upon atypical transactions to draw broad market conclusions in order to justify above-market assessments for specific properties.  Combining this valuation approach with the likelihood of tax rate increases, results in an increase in tax liability for many owners. 

For guidance on your specific property, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Ilene Baxt Boorman
Mark Rogers
Wilkes Artis, Chtd.

American Property Tax Counsel (APTC)

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