‘What’s that going to do to my taxes?’: Historic property value hikes coming to Butler, Clermont counties
Property values in Clermont and Butler counties are set to rise by historic margins next year as the Ohio Department of Taxation is recommending the largest increase in recent history.
The agency recommended a 43% increase in property values in Clermont County and 42% in Butler County. The updates will be reflected in 2024 tax bills, which are sent out early next year and will last for three years until reappraisal.
A tax department spokesperson could not point to another year where the recommended property value increase was higher since 1978, when the agency began conducting triennial updates.
“When I got the letter from the state, it was just shocking,” said Clermont County Auditor Linda Fraley, who learned of the increase a few weeks ago. “I think it’s very clear that Columbus doesn’t care about the impact on Clermont County.”
Every third year, the state tax department performs a triennial review of certain counties using sales data from the past three years to update property values. This year 13 counties are under review: Ashland, Ashtabula, Athens, Butler, Clermont, Fulton, Greene, Knox, Madison, Montgomery, Noble, Summit and Wayne. The average recommended increase is 34%, reflecting much higher values even in rural areas.
County auditors across the state are stunned, Fraley said, “We had never seen anything like this.”
Tax Commissioner Patricia Harris said in a statement: “I am aware of the considerable valuation increases in Butler and other counties, and I am not insensitive to the concerns being expressed by some local officials … That said, our job at the Department of Taxation is to follow the law and the Ohio Constitution to the letter. That is what we’ve done in partnership with the counties who have been part of this update cycle.”
Fraley and Butler County Auditor Nancy Nix both criticized Harris’s office for overvaluing sale prices in 2022 instead of taking an average of sales over the past three years.
A more accurate property value increase in Clermont should be 23%, Fraley said.
Similarly, Nix said a more factual increase in Butler County should be 24% based on her office’s sales data.
“We just feel that they should be a little more open to our arguments and to the hardship that this is causing on taxpayers,” Nix said. “We don’t feel like the market is acting normally.”
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