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County residential values rise 13%

YOUNGSTOWN — Mahoning County residential property values rose by 13.24 percent since the last time the county auditor’s office updated values three years ago.

Auditor Ralph Meacham on Friday released details on how each taxing district in the county fared in the three-year update. The auditor’s office must complete a full property revaluation every six years and an update in the middle of each six-year period.

Among the largest increases were in rural areas such as Goshen, Berlin, Green and Ellsworth townships, which saw increases of around 20 percent. Also in that range were Craig Beach at 20 percent and Lowellville at 18 percent.

Smith Township saw significant differences in values ranging from 22 to 14 percent in its six separate taxing districts. Jackson Township was up 16 percent.

Among the suburban areas, Struthers saw a healthy increase of 15 percent, similar to the 14 percent for Poland and Sebring. Boardman’s percentages ranged from 14 percent to 16 percent depending on the taxing district, and Austintown’s values ranged from 9 percent to 13 percent.

Poland Township saw increases of between 8 and 18 percent depending on taxing district.

Canfield, Canfield Township and Fairfield Township were around 13 percent. Youngstown saw an increase of about 14 percent.

Springfield Township saw an average increase of about 11 percent. It was closer to 13 percent in New Middletown.

“The average of 13.24 percent is a positive, because it shows vitality in our economy, Meacham said. “People are willing to live here.”

WHY THIS HAPPENS

The purpose of reappraising property is to equalize property values and reflect changes in the housing marketplace of each area.

The changes by area make up the average for each district, which then makes up the average for the county as a whole, Meacham explained.

The update also evaluates agricultural and commercial property and found that agricultural property rose by an average of 8.5 percent. Commercial property values remained unchanged.

The Ohio Department of Taxation reviews and approves the proposed values and then approves proposed tax rates, which are based on the levies voted on in the primary and general elections, Meacham said.

Once these two things are approved, property taxes can be calculated.

In 1976, Ohio Legislature enacted House Bill 920 to prevent school districts from collecting more money than what was approved by voters. If property values in a district increase, the millage rate on a voted levy is decreased so that the levy only generates the amount of money approved by voters.

Meacham stated that homeowners should understand that a change in value does not always result in a comparable change in property taxes thanks to House Bill 920.

“As values in a district increase or decrease during the reappraisal cycle, effective tax rates inversely increase or decrease, therefore ensuring that a voted levy will not generate more money than was approved at the ballot by the voters,” he stated.

If a homeowner does not believe they could sell their property on the open market for the amount of the county appraisal, they can appeal their value by filing a Complaint Against the Valuation of Real Property. This form can be found on the auditor’s webpage. Or, taxpayers can call the auditor’s office at 330-740-2010 to request the form by mail. Appeals can be submitted by mail or in person to the auditor’s office in the county courthouse between Jan. 2 and March 31 each year. Filing this form will initiate the appeal process with the Mahoning County Board of Revision.

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