County begins process of updating property values


The 2019 property revaluation process has begun.

Union County Auditor Andrea Weaver’s office is in the middle of property revaluations, which take place every three and six years. Residents should start seeing letters come in the mail with their tentative valuations for the six-year update over the next several weeks, Weaver said.

“What we seek to do and by statute I’m charged with doing, is making sure the property base that taxes are derived from is as close to market as possible,” Weaver said. “We only do that once every third and sixth year so during that interval of time, there can be significant changes to the market. And in this timeframe and in this county, those changes are happening in much less than three years. They’re happening in three and six months.”

She said that because of the growth going on in the county, residential property owners would likely see their values go up. That will be different on the agriculture side, she added.

“Because of the legislative changes in the fall of 2015, soil rates statewide are going down on an average of 33%.

So there will definitely be a reduction in the valuation of farm ground in this same revaluation,” Weaver said.

For the three-year update, the appraisal is solely a sales data update.

“We pull in all the valid sales in every tax district in the county and we say, what is the median value of that tax district,” Weaver said. There are 44 tax districts in the county and 150 neighborhoods. “With three years of sales, we say ‘what is the median sale price?’ That’s of new, valid and recent sales.”

She added, as an example, if the median value of a neighbor is $100,000 and the median sales price in that evaluation time is $125,000, then the office would put a factor on every house in the neighborhood to bring the median value up to within 92-95% of that new sale price.

The process for the six-year update begins with a mass appraisal focusing on more specifics such as usable square footage and the number of bathrooms (that number affects property value where the number of bedrooms does not, according to the auditor). Union County works with Appraisal Research Corporation, a third party appraisal company in Findlay.

“In the revaluation, which is what we’re in right now, we do more (airplane) fly-overs when the leaves are off the trees, usually November to March,” Weaver said. “They take angle photography as well as straight down within three inches of the rooftops so that it is really detailed.”

Once the photos are taken (a process that began in summer 2017), the data is then collected and processed and sent to the Ohio Department of Taxation (ODT) for approval.

“We get recent photos, so you try to get what’s already there and then pick up new construction as it comes in and add it to the database,” Weaver said. “So then we can see what was there on 1/1/19 because that’s our taxing date for the revaluation.”

In late June, Weaver’s office sent a tentative abstract with their numbers to the ODT and the office sent a response back Wednesday.

“The email said, good news, our abstract has been approved and the numbers look great,” Weaver said. “That tells me that the Department of Taxation agrees with the work we have done and the sales ratios we believe fairly represent the values of each tax district.”

According to the auditor, the approval typically comes in around the middle of August at which point the office sends out the letters to property owners detailing what the new value is likely to be. Since the approval has already come in, the auditor’s office is beginning the process of preparing the letters.

Residents will receive the packet, which will include a photo of their house on the front page.

The office will then be available for a two-week period starting on September 16 for residents who want to discuss their values.

They will be located at three spots throughout the county: the Board of Review office located in the same building as the auditor’s office on 233 West Sixth Street in Marysville, the Jerome Township Hall at 9777 Industrial Parkway in Plain City and the North Union Fire Department at 602 North Franklin Street in Richwood. Appraisers will be available from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. to answer residents’ questions.

Once construction data is added to the numbers, the auditor’s office will send the final abstract back to the ODT at the end of October and the property values will then be finalized.

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