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    Upcoming deadline for school districts to file “counter-complaints” in property tax valuation appeals

    Ohio law permits property owners and school districts to participate in administrative appeals regarding the valuation of real estate. School districts derive substantial revenue from property taxes, while property owners seek to reduce their tax burdens. These adverse interests often result in a significant number of appeals each year, and these appeals can substantially affect tax payments and school revenue.

    The deadline to initiate property tax valuation appeals passes each year on March 31. If the requested change in value meets a certain threshold, the county auditor must notify the school district of the property tax valuation complaint, and the school district can make itself a party to the case (to oppose the reduction in property value) by filing a “counter-complaint” with the county board of revision. Importantly, a school district must file its counter-complaint within 30 days of receiving notice of a tax appeal from the county auditor. A counter-complaint filed more than 30 days after the county auditor has provided this notice is too late and fails to make the school district a party to the case or to any subsequent appeal.

    Many county auditors begin notifying school districts of property tax valuation complaints after the March 31 deadline. Districts should be prepared to receive notification soon and quickly work with their counsel if they choose to participate in the appeals process.

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