New Procedure Available for Ohio Real Property Tax Appeals

Buckingham Attorney Richard B. Fry III provides the following update on a new procedure available for certain real property tax valuation appeals:

Anyone who has appealed a real property valuation determination to the Ohio Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) understands how painstakingly long this process currently takes. The amount at-stake, prolonged uncertainty and cost of pursuing the appeal is often not justified. Effective October 10, 2013, certain taxpayers may opt into the BTA’s small claims division which was recently established by Sub. H.B. 153.

The smalls claims division is only available for real property tax appeals: (1) from the county board of revisions concerning valuation of non-business property described under R.C. 319.302 (e.g., residential or farming property); and (2) from the tax commissioner concerning a real property tax exemption if the tax at issue is less than $10,000. Interestingly, valuation appeals concerning business property are not eligible for the small claims procedure, even if below the $10,000 threshold. Further, the taxpayer waives its right to appeal the BTA’s decision in a small claims case. The BTA’s draft Rules provide that small claims cases will be conducted pursuant to a three-month case management track, but without discovery.