COVID-19 has brought inestimable economic pain to the owners of hotels, motels, restaurants, rental properties, tourist attractions and the like. One would assume that the value of real estate whose value turns mostly on the cash flow it generates has dropped precipitously. Consequently, Ohio commercial property owners might be considering filing an appeal with their given county board of revision to lower the tax value of their property and thus the applicable real estate taxes. However, given the timing of when COVID-19 began to affect such businesses, this may not be the time to file a real estate tax appeal.
Applications (called a “Complaint”) to reduce property values and taxes are due on or before March 31, 2021. The valuation outcome of such an appeal is effective for the calendar tax year 2020 and after. In determining the tax value, the focal point date is January 1, 2020.
The problem for property owners who want to appeal is that as of January 1, 2020, Ohio was not yet feeling the economic impact caused by COVID-19. Therefore, the tax value to be considered would not be affected.
In 2020, the Ohio General Assembly introduced legislation which would permit boards of revision to factor in the pandemic when considering real estate values. However, that proposal is still not yet law.
For the time being, a real estate tax challenge based upon COVID-19 will likely be unsuccessful. If Ohio passes the remedial legislation, this could change, however, this remains to be seen.
If you have any questions about this topic, please contact Dana Rose or your Weston Hurd attorney.