By Justin Wier
Property values around the county have more or less remained stable, according to tentative figures released by the Mahoning County auditor.
“It shows there is still some vitality in this marketplace,” Auditor Ralph Meacham said.
Ohio law requires all county auditors to establish current property values every six years.
Integrity Appraisals of Austintown conducted the reevaluation by taking aerial and street-level photos, conducting site visits and looking at the sale prices of similar homes in similar neighborhoods that sold recently.
Comparing with values in 2016, the new values show residential values increased 1.9 percent, commercial 0.27 percent, industrial 3.4 percent and agricultural 9.1 percent.
The present residential value of $7.83 billion will increase to $7.98 billion under the new proposed values.
Those numbers do not include new construction, among other adjustments.
From 2011 to 2016, property values did not experience significant change, Meacham said.
He attributed the increase in value of agricultural land to the oil and gas boom, which allows owners to bring in revenue by leasing mineral rights.
While overall residential values increased slightly, lower-end housing saw a decline.
Particularly in Youngstown, houses that once sold for $30,000 to $50,000 are selling for significantly less.
“The lower end is falling right through the basement,” Meacham said. “Housing stock is deteriorating to the point that it’s not housing stock anymore.”
At the upper end, there is a limit to what people will pay to live in Mahoning County, which Meacham said appears to be about $1.5 million.
For those in between – homes valued at $75,000 to $300,000 – values remained stable or saw a slight increase.
The city of Youngstown experienced the largest decreases, which Meacham attributed to a declining population and the city’s demolition program.
“They’re doing a good job, but it continues to plague the area,” he said.
Residential values dropped 13.24 percent, from a present value of $722.95 million to a proposed value of $627.24 million. Declines in agricultural, commercial and industrial are about 2 percent.
Poland Township saw a 6.28 percent increase, from a present value of $902.93 million to a proposed value of $959.64 million.
Agricultural values in the township also increased 5.2 percent.
Boardman, Canfield and Austintown did not see major changes, Meacham said.
The $2.2 million contract with Integrity Appraisals for the reval covered the 165,000 parcels in the county.
The valuations are an approximation of the properties’ fair-market values, Meacham said.
The new values will be used to calculate real-estate taxes beginning in 2018. Property is taxed at 35 percent of the fair market value.
Property owners can find the new values by visiting the auditor’s page at www.mahoningcountyoh.gov or by calling the office at 330-740-2010.
Informal review sessions in October and November will allow owners of residential or agricultural properties to meet with appraisers, and a Reappraisal Information Center at Oakhill Renaissance Place will be open for several days in February and March.
Property owners also can appeal the new values during the first 90 days of 2018 by contacting the auditor’s office. The Board of Revision will review all appeals.