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Lake County, Ohio - Auditor

Appraisal Department

    1. I don’t agree with my property value, how can I challenge it?
    There are two methods available to challenge your property value. Between January 1 and March 31, you may file a formal appeal with the Lake County Board of Revision. Between April 1 and September 30, you may file an informal appeal with the appraisal department of the Auditor’s office. In order to file an informal appeal, you must have one of the following: 1) a recent private appraisal, not older than 2 years or, 2) a purchase agreement not older than 2 years. A written request to appeal the value must accompany the appraisal or purchase agreement. 
     
    2. Can someone file an appeal on behalf of another person?
    The best advice for this question is to seek legal counsel from an attorney.  Attorneys are always able to sign and file an appeal on behalf of an owner.  If the person signing and filing the form is NOT the owner your appeal may not be successful in being accepted.
     
    3. When will I hear something about my filing?
    It takes time to gather all of the filings after the March 31 deadline.  Any filing where the complainant is seeking a change in value more than $50,000, has to be sent to the local Board of Education as they have the statutory right to review and possibly file a counter-complaint against your claim. Other appeals (that are less than a $50,000 value change) are reviewed in house for content and may be subject to a settlement offer or a hearing based on what you provide.  YOU WILL RECEIVE NOTICE OF ANY HEARING AT LEAST 2 WEEKS PRIOR to the hearing date by e-mail AND certified mail.  Please accept certified mail.  By law we have to send certified mail for hearing notices as well as decisions.
     
    4. Can I reschedule a hearing?
    You are allowed one reschedule.  After one reschedule a hearing will be scheduled and held.
     
    5. Do I have to attend a hearing?
    It is in your best interest to attend a hearing so that the Board may ask you questions about your property and anything that you submitted as evidence.  
     
    6. I went to the Board of Revision hearing and testified about my property but they didn’t change my value.  Why? 
    When filing an appeal the burden of proof is on the property owner.  There are many Supreme Court cases that establish this.  An owner that is appealing their property value must present substantial evidence that shows what the value should be.  A professional appraisal by a credentialed appraiser or a recent sale (within 24 months of the lien date) showing an arms-length transaction is the best evidence of value. 
     
    7. I provided comparable sales or a Comparative Market Analysis but the Board of Revision didn’t do anything with them.
    Merely providing comparable sales is not enough.  Comparable sales need to be adjusted for differences between the subject property and the comparable sales.  Adjustments should be performed by a state-credentialed appraiser.  Differences of age, style, land size, condition, and other amenities have to be considered and adjusted for as needed so that the comparable sales are tailored to be like the subject property.
     
    8. I do not agree with the decision of the Board of Revision – what can I do?
    You may file a further appeal with either the Lake County Common Pleas Court or the Ohio Board of Tax Appeals.  If you choose Common Pleas court you must pay a filing fee and prepare your own filings and briefs.   If you choose the Ohio Board of Tax Appeals you must file form DTE 4 and YOU MUST FOLLOW ALL INSTRUCTIONS ON THE DTE4 FORM.  Often, cases are dismissed at the state level because the filer did not follow important instructions on the form.  See more information at https://bta.ohio.gov
     
    9. Can I file another appeal on my value in a different year if I didn’t agree with the first decision?
    You may only file one appeal per three-year period.  Three-year periods start with each county-wide reappraisal.  Example: if the last reappraisal was 2018 – you may only file one appeal for the tax years 2018, 2019, 2020.  The next time you could file would be for tax year 2021.
     
    10. Does the Board of Revision (or Auditor’s Office) notify my mortgage company that the taxes/value have been changed?
    No.  This is the responsibility of the owner if the taxes are escrowed with a mortgage payment.
     
    11. I just purchased my home for less than the value shown by the Auditor’s office; how can I request a lower market value?
    If you purchased your home on the open market, you can submit a copy of your purchase agreement to the Auditor’s office appraisal department. An appraiser will review the information and adjust the value accordingly. This can be done anytime between April 1 and September 30. 
    Note: An open market purchase is an arms-length transaction in which the seller is not selling under duress, such as a sheriff’s sale or a short sale
     
    12. I tore down a building on my property. Why am I still being taxed on the building?
    In order to receive the proper valuation reduction on destroyed or damaged buildings, you will need to fill out and submit a DTE 26 form to our office. This form is available on our website under the “Forms” section. If you need help filling out the form, an appraiser in the Auditor’s office will be happy to assist you.

     

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