Auglaize County property owners should expect to receive their property tax re-evaluations in the mail during the first part of next week.
Auglaize County Auditor’s Office staff have been busy getting the re-evaluations ready to put in the mail. Notices for parcels covered by the CAUV (Current Agricultural Use Value) program already have been sent.
Ohio Farm Bureau are planning a meeting for those interested on the matter at 7 p.m. Monday at the St. Joseph Parish Life Center, in Wapakoneta. A state speaker is to be there to discuss CAUV rates.
“In some cases they have doubled and some have more than doubled,” Auglaize County Auditor Janet Schuler said. “The CAUV uses production rates rather than market value to tax agricultural properties. The average rate is $700 an acre.
“For years, all it did was fall, then the state
changed the formula to account for productivity and prices and lately both productivity and prices have been up,” she said. “People who that affects, who farm, know that.”
Schuler said a few residential rates in the county also went up, but it was rare.
Others that went up were because of improvements made to the property that the Auditor’s Office had not previously known about, such as decks, finished basements or other buildings constructed on the property.
“The majority of values went down by about 2 percent, but it varies all over the county,” Schuler said. “Our values always lag the market because we’re always looking back.
“It protects the taxpayer when the real estate market is hot, but it doesn’t work the same way when values go down,” she said.
Schuler said changes to properties were recorded during a review of every parcel in the county, conducted by an outside company this year. Those re-evaluations are done, as required, every six years.
“We didn’t see any big increases in Auglaize County,” Schuler said. “Foreclosures definitely have affected the housing supply and definitely changed the amount of houses available.”
Many of those homes are not in the best shape when they are foreclosed, although it doesn’t usually take long for them to become desirable in the marketplace again after someone buys and begins making improvements to foreclosed homes, the county auditor said.
New tax rates, calculated by the state, are expected around the holidays.
Beginning Monday and extending through Friday, Oct. 7, there will be a two-week window for informal complaints about updated values and whether owners believe they are too high or too low.
Schuler said it’s especially important for those with new homes to make sure all their attributes are correct before they are taxed.
“It can be hard for an appraiser standing outside to determine exactly what’s going on inside a home,” Schuler said.
She said when informal complaints are received they can go out and look at the property again and make any changes necessary.
“If you’re happy with your value, you don’t have to do anything,” Schuler said.
After the informal complaint period, the only way to make changes is through a formal complaint form filed between Jan. 1 and March 31.
At this time, Schuler said they can estimate tax bills, but they cannot determine what they will be for sure. There also will be a tax bill estimator located on the Auglaize County Auditor’s website found at auglaizecounty.org/ under the elected officials, then auditor’s header.
“What many people will want to know is how this affects their taxes,” Schuler said. “Sixty to 70 percent of the tax bills are for schools.”
Four of the county’s six school districts are at a 20-mill floor, which is the least that can be taxed for operating expenses. New Knoxville and Minster school districts are the two not included in that.
“I’m unsure where they’ll stay,” Schuler said. “All six are in debt for building projects so just because the value of a property goes down doesn’t mean taxes will go down or that it will go down by the same percentage.
“We still have to make sure those bills gets paid and we don’t know if they’ll be able to get up off the floor,” she said. “For those not at the floor, we don’t expect taxes to change much.”