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Monday, August 6, 2018

Was Your Cuyahoga County Property Appraisal Way Too High? Here's How to File a Complaint

Posted By on Mon, Aug 6, 2018 at 2:54 PM

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If you're a homeowner, you probably got a letter in the mail from Cuyahoga County last week alerting you to the fact that your home is now worth a lot more than it was when you bought it. (Or else the appraised value — and the taxes that come with it — are finally catching up to what you paid for it.)

Turns out, this happens every six years. It's the "sexennial reappraisal," in the state lingo. Hooray! The county fiscal officer's team has been physically viewing and appraising every property in Cuyahoga County — roughly 526,000 homes and commercial properties — since July, 2017. They pretty much wrapped things up in May.

Most home values rose. According to the county data, residential values increased by 10.8 percent countywide. Commercial values increased by 8.7 percent.

"We have felt that the county is on a great upswing, and the county-wide reappraisal confirms our progress,” said County Executive Armond Budish himself, in a press release. “I am pleased that overall our property values have significantly increased. It’s a sign that our county is prospering.”

Well, yes, but maybe you feel that your property was appraised for a lot more than it's worth. Or perhaps houses in your neighborhood, or on your street, aren't selling for what your home value is now alleged to be. Maybe there's some structural issue or issues that weren't taken into account by the appraisal teams.

If that describes your situation, you can file a complaint. Until Aug. 31, residential property owners may dispute the appraised value by informally complaining online, through the mail or in person.

To file online, you'll need the parcel number and pin number found in your mailer. If you prefer the mail, there's a response form in the mailer you received. In person, you'll have to attend a "conference site" where staff appraisers will be on hand Monday through Friday to hear your complaints. This week, the conference site is Tri-C East's President Plaza. Appraisers will be there 10 a.m. - 7:30 p.m. today through Thursday, and 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. on Friday.

If you're disputing the appraised value of your home, you'll need to support your claim by submitting one or more of the following types of documentation for review. (The denser the documentation, the stronger the case.) 

• Complete Appraisal Report (prepared within the last 12 months).
• Total cost of new structure (certified by builder).
• Photographs of structural damage, and estimates for repairs.
• Purchase agreement with closing statement.
• Certified estimates from a contractor for repairs cited as the reason for a change in value.

If you don't informally complain by Aug. 31, you'll have to file a formal complaint with the Board of Revision.  That body will accept complaints January through May, 2019.  

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