What’s it worth?

Published 12:41 am Sunday, January 12, 2014


Triennial appraisal re-evaluates parcels in Ironton, county


Owners of just over 12 percent of the 55,863 parcels in Lawrence County will see their 2013 property valuations increase by between 2 to 11 percent following the triennial appraisal of residential parcels.

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Every six years the county is required to re-evaluate all properties by going in the field to make on-site appraisals. However, every three years re-appraisals are done by using a statistical approach.

“We look at the sale of real estate and what parcels sell for and what we have as its valuation,” County Auditor Jason Stephens said. “That shows a trend of how close we have the values assessed versus what it is actually selling for. Our goal is to get as close to the market values without going over.”

The Ohio Department of Taxation mandates that valuations be between 90 to 92 percent of market value. Lawrence County’s evaluations came in at 90.01 percent.

Instead of analyzing individual parcels, the auditor’s office reviewed neighborhoods.

“We tried a more targeted analysis of the real estate market,” Stephens said.

“The real estate market will be different in Ironton over Miller and in different parts of Ironton it would be different.”

The results were several neighborhoods in Ironton where some parcels went up between 2 and 11 percent; some parcels in Rome Township increased 4 to 5 percent and parts of the Chesapeake School District portion of Union Township saw values go up 3 to 5 percent.

In Ironton 3,363 parcels out of 7,314 were affected; Rome Township 1,597 parcels out of 7,293 and Union Township-Chesapeake, 1,772 out of 6,435.

In Ironton the evaluation took in $12,197,340 in sales of properties that had been appraised at $10,229,940 or at values of 83.87 percent of market values. Those were sales made in 2011 and 2012. Overall in the county sales equaling $96,174,132 were used in the analysis of parcels that had been appraised at $84,952,260 or 88.33 percent of their market value.

The biggest overall increase came in the re-evaluation of farmland that is under the Current Agricultural Use Valuation Program (CAUV). In the CAUV farmland is appraised not on its market value, but its use value based on soil type.

This appraisal is conducted by the state taxation department with the county auditor’s offices verifying the types of soil in each parcel. To provide that information the auditor’s office works with the county soil and water conservation district.

“The state checks commodity prices, gasoline prices, fertilizer prices, capitalization and comes up with a per acre rate,” Chris Kline, chief deputy auditor, said. “Some soil types have doubled. Some quadrupled.”

While soil rates have increased, the overall evaluation of farmland is still below what its appraisal would be if it were residential. However that discount has gone down from 46 percent to 32 percent.

There were 5,244 parcels affected in the CAUV.

On top of the triennial updates, the auditor’s office has added new construction and parcel upgrades not currently on the tax rolls. With the new appraisal the tax base has gone up 3 percent from $2,533,303,090 to $2,611,152,060.

Just as in the six-year re-appraisal, taxpayers can appeal the changes to the Lawrence County Board of Revision.

“People can appeal the value at the board of revision,” Stephens said. “It is important to have it accurate.”

The county cannot change the CAUV appraisals. Board of revision appeals must be filed by March 31.

To appeal a CAUV, the farmland owner first would have to file an appeal with the county board, which would be denied for lack of jurisdiction. Then the owner could approach the state board of tax appeals.