The neighborhood approach in the 2016 property revaluation

Published 12:03 am Sunday, November 27, 2016

Every six years, the state of Ohio requires every county auditor to determine property values for taxing purposes.

In years past, the Lawrence County Auditor’s office was faced with broadly applying changes with across-the-board increases in property values for an entire township, or even a county-wide blanket increase to establish property values for tax purposes.

However, this year by implementing new technology, the auditor’s office was able to analyze and reflect local real estate market conditions in the valuation of properties more precisely by breaking down Lawrence County’s 39 unique taxing districts into 594 specific “neighborhoods.”

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The changes to property values were targeted to more accurately reflect the real estate market in these specific neighborhoods by focusing mainly on the location, age, and type of construction.

The market conditions for each neighborhood were determined by analyzing arms-length real estate sales in those neighborhoods from the past three years (with more emphasis given to the most recent sales). Those conditions were used to determine the tables that are applied to the structures and the land types. These tables are used in determining the square footage rates (based on type of construction) and the depreciation rates (based upon the age of construction) to ultimately develop the new value for a home or building.

In order to more easily understand the county revaluation as a whole, imagine the real estate values as a pyramid, with the 55,384 individual parcels being the base of the pyramid, the 594 specific neighborhoods being the second level, the 39 unique taxing districts being the third level, and finally the county overall being the top level.

For example, even though the county’s overall residential market values (the top level of the pyramid) may have increased a certain percentage, each of the 39 taxing districts (the next level down) will see a different percentage change, while each of the 594 neighborhoods (the next level) will see yet a different percent change, and finally each of the county’s 55,384 parcels (the base level) will see a different percent change in value as well.

This valuation illustration will be true for each of the different types of properties throughout the county (residential, agricultural, mineral, commercial, industrial and public utility).

What all this means to you as a property owner in Lawrence County, is the value of your property in the auditor’s office will most likely change this year. Our goal is to accurately reflect the real estate market conditions of Lawrence County, and apply those conditions fairly to each parcel of real estate.

Within the next few weeks, the property values for the Tax Year 2016 Revaluation will be posted on our website.

If you disagree with your property’s new value, you may file an appeal of value to the Lawrence County Board of Revision. Board of Revision appeals must be filed in the Auditor’s office between Jan. 1, 2017, and March 31, 2017.

Jason Stephens is the Lawrence County Auditor. He can be reached at 740-533-4310.