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Residential property values expected to see big jumps

LISBON –Residential property values in Columbiana County are expected to increase by an average of 10 percent in 2020, except for the city of Columbiana and St. Clair Township, where values will increase by 14 percent.

The reason: Homes and vacant land are selling for more than what the county auditor’s office has them valued.

“We can’t control that,” said Auditor Nancy Milliken.

The increase is the result of the latest revaluation of county property values, which the state performs every six years. This is different than the countywide reappraisal county auditors are required to undertake every six years, with the most recent concluding in 2016 and resulting in a 2.6 percent average increase in property values.

Unlike the countywide reappraisal, which is of every individual parcel in the county, the revaluation involved a review of 2,500 home and farm sales, which are then compared to the values assigned to them by the auditor’s office. Based on the results, the Ohio Department of Taxation comes up with an average increase or decrease to get the values as close to 100 percent as possible.

Based on the comparison, the state recommended the county’s residential property values be increased by 15 percent, but Milliken said they were able to get that negotiated down to 10 percent, except for the city of Columbiana and St. Clair Township. She was only able to get the increases in those two areas reduced to 14 percent.

Even with the increases, residential properties are still valued on average at 90 percent of what the state analysis revealed.

Agricultural property will increase by an average of 15 percent — 18 percent on farmland and 10 percent on farm buildings. Those agricultural properties enrolled in the CAUV program –the tax-break program for farmland — should see a decrease because of changes made at the state level.

“This is a mandate from the state and based on the entire evaluation. Thankfully, we were able to get it

lowered,” Milliken said.

The last revaluation was performed in 2013 and resulted in a decrease in property values, but the housing market has improved significantly since then, and that is what is driving the increase.

“The sales don’t lie. People are selling properties for a lot more than what we have them valued at,” Milliken said. “It’s great for the seller.”

An increase in property values generally translates into tax increases since property taxes are based on 35 percent of the property’s value as set by the auditor’s office. In other words, a $100,000 home is only taxed on $35,000 of that value.

There are other factors that go into whether the increase translates into a tax increase for a particular property owner because each parcel is subject to different taxation rates and automatic reduction factors, depending on the location.

The new values should be on the auditor’s office website.

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