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  • Writer's pictureSpring Valley, The Investor's Bank

How to Lower Your Property Taxes: A Comprehensive Guide

Updated: Jan 12

A step-by-step look at appealing your residential & commercial 2023 property tax increase



Appealing to Lower Your Property Taxes is Just Smart Investing

As a property investor your business model focuses on trimming unnecessary expenses and capitalizing on returns. Property taxes fall under the necessary expense column, but your property may be overvalued by the county causing you to be paying excess taxes. We want our investors to be aware of the possible savings that can be found by filing an appeal with the county.


Hamilton County performed their triennial evaluation in 2023 and really pushed the envelope on valuation increases because of the favorable real estate market.


Fortunately for investors, the county valuations are determined from a distance. They do not have intimate data of comparable sales or interior knowledge on your property which ultimately means: THE COUNTY IS GUESSING ON THE VALUE OF YOUR ASSET.


4 Approaches to Appealing

There are essentially 4 approaches to presenting your case to the Board of Revisions. In some cases, you will find these approaches overlap and you can present multiple pieces of evidence:


1.)  Contesting based on a Recent Sale

2.)  Contesting based on Property Condition

3.)  Contesting based on Comparable Sales

4.)  Contesting based on Income Production


The video details the supporting evidence needed for each approach.


Tip: Know the difference between an Appraisal and a Broker’s Price Opinion (BPO) to determine the best report to use. Each has its specific merit. In my experience, a BPO offers an effective cost savings approach for cases that fall in the realm of normal.


Submitting Your Appeal

Upon reviewing your evidence, determine your opinion of the fair market value of your property, plug your value into the Hamilton County Auditor tax calculator (found on your property's page under the "Tax Distribution" tab) to determine your potential savings. This is also the time to examine if the cost savings will be offset by hiring a 3rd party professional such as an appraiser, broker or contractor. If you are a real estate investor with experience in valuation or contracting, you may want to consider the DIY approach and forgo any 3rd party reporting.


In addition to completing the application, it is critical to organize your evidence into easy-to-read reports with a cover letter that summarizes your key points for value reduction.


Submit your application and evidence to:


BOARD OF REVISION (BOR)

LOCATED AT 138 E. COURT STREET, RM 304

CINCINNATI, OHIO 45202

7:30AM -4:00PM

FILING DEADLINE 3/31/24


B.O.R. Appeal Windows Open Annually

You are eligible to file an appeal at the beginning of every year. This is a great investor tool to keep in your pocket. In the investor community we often see deals where the property is purchased for less than the auditor valuation, where the property is purchased in subpar condition, or the property is purchased with income generation that does not support the auditor valuation. Reviewing the auditor valuation should become routine on all investor purchases.


Conclusion

The 2023 property valuation has a compounding effect on your taxes. The current valuation will hold for the next 3 years you own the property. Additionally, the current rate sets a basis for the 2026 triennial valuation.


However, if your evidence determines the county is within a reasonable margin of error in valuing your property, we suggest you DO NOT file an appeal. After all, the time it takes to review these appeals are our tax dollars hard at work. The purpose of this exercise is to ensure you are not being egregiously overcharged for any reason.


*We are focusing on Hamilton County, but these tactics can be applied to any county. Every county must have an appeal process to safeguard the interests of property owners. You can find links to B.O.R. sites in neighboring counties below:


Kenton County - Opened 1/1/24

Butler County - Due 3/31/24

Warren County - Due 3/31/24

Clermont County - Due 4/1/24

Campbell County - Due 5/15/24



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