Property values released

Published 9:56 am Tuesday, December 13, 2016

New values posted on auditor’s website

Lawrence County Auditor Jason Stephens recently announced that the Tax Year 2016 Revaluation Project is complete and that the total assessed property value for Lawrence County for tax year 2016 is $1,242,815,920.

The county’s total assessed property value has increased $203,954,390, or 19.63 percent over the assessed 2015 property values.

Well over half of the increase is due to public utility assessed property increasing by $129,623,590 to $328,724,460 (an increase of 65.10 percent). Residential property’s assessed property value increased by $58,269,860 in 2016 to $693,144,280 (an increase of 9.18 percent).

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Agricultural property’s assessed value in 2016 grew by $9,236,190 to $105,540,880 (an increase of 9.59 percent). commercial and industrial properties increased in value by $6,007,220 and $978,770 respectively (increases of 6.75 percent and 5.15 percent respectively).

According to state law in Ohio, county auditors are required to do a full general reappraisal every six years. That general appraisal was due for tax year 2016 in Lawrence County. The auditor, or his qualified appraiser(s), is required to view and appraise every property in the county for this purpose.

As part of this revaluation process, over the past two and a half years, the Lawrence County Auditor’s Office and its appraisers have reviewed the county’s 55,394 parcels of land, taking over 79,500 pictures of structures on the 25,969 of those parcels that have improvements. Stephens said the auditor’s office updated 14,508 of those parcels to reflect improvements or additions since 2010 and included those changes into this year’s revaluation.

In addition to the improvements or additions, the auditor’s office and its appraisers have analyzed local real estate market conditions by breaking down Lawrence County’s 39 unique taxing districts into 594 specific neighborhoods, Stephens said.

“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,” Stephens said. “The market conditions for each neighborhood were determined by analyzing arms-length real estate sales in those neighborhoods from the last 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 square footage rates, based on new type of construction, and the depreciation rates, based upon the age of construction, to ultimately develop new value for a home or building.”

Stephens added that the new values for each parcel are available at the Lawrence County Auditor’s Office, or may be accessed on the auditor’s website,

“When accessing the property on the website, it is important to check the ‘comments tab’ to see possible explanation of changes in value such as structures or additions that may not have been listed previously on the tax books,” Stephens said. “If you disagree with your value, you may file an appeal of value to the Lawrence County Board of Revisions.”

Board of Revisions appeals must be filed in the auditor’s office between Jan. 1 and March 31, 2017.

“It really is a fascinating process and a huge assignment to determine a fair market value on over 55,000 parcels of property at one time. We did our best to infuse new technology to more efficiently and effectively accomplish the required task,” Stephens said. “In order to be fair to all taxpayers, we let the numbers and the market drive the results of this revaluation.”