July 25, 2016

Intermittent clouds

County auditor: Home value hearings down

MEDINA — The last day for county residents to challenge the new taxable value of their property is Nov. 1 — a little more than a week away.

The state-mandated reappraisal released in August by the Medina County auditor shows total home values dropped by 4.8 percent since the last update in 2010.

The county’s three cities — Brunswick, Medina and Wadsworth — saw home values decline by a combined 6.5 percent compared to only 3.8 percent in the county’s 17 townships and 3.3 percent in the six villages.

Total value of all types of property in the county — residential, agricultural, commercial, industrial and other categories — fell 3.4 percent, or $497 million.

Residential values account for $477 million, or nearly 96 percent of the total.

County Auditor Michael E. Kovack said his office has received just more than 1,000 requests for informal hearings on home values — the fewest requests in his 20 years as auditor.

He said they’ve already reviewed 920 parcels and have 82 left to check. The appraisal values are based on real estate sales in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

Kovack said some residents have requested to have their houses valued higher because they are trying to sell them and want the best market value.

“The most unusual thing about this year’s appraisal is that 10 to 15 percent of the people coming in are asking for increases in their value,” he said. “We’ve talked most of them out of that.”

Kovack said the auditor’s appraisal has little or no effect on a home’s sale price.

The reappraisal reflects the home’s value as of Jan. 1. The appraisal determines what residents will pay in property tax in 2014.

Any requests for informal hearings are given to the appraisal department. Kovack and officers from that department then will look at the neighborhood to see if sales of comparable properties support the reappraisal value.

Any values found to be in error are changed manually in the auditor’s computer system and residents are notified by mail. Kovack said residents should expect to wait the standard two to three weeks for a response, although his office has been handling many of the requests within 10 days.

He said the easiest way to request a hearing is on his office’s website, www.medinacountyauditor.org.

Residents can click on “2013 reappraisal” and enter their information and the reason they want to have the property reassessed, and the office will handle it from there.

Contact reporter Dan Pompili at (330) 721-4012 or dpompili@medina-gazette.com.

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