Senate Bill 57 Offers Property Tax Reduction Opportunity

April 29, 2021Articles

If the COVID-19 pandemic affected the value of your property, Ohio Senate Bill 57 (S.B. 57) may offer you (or your triple-net lease tenant) a chance to reduce your Ohio real property taxes not available under prior law.

Property tax valuation complaints in Ohio counties can be filed only once in each three-year interim period, and property values are determined as of January 1 of the tax year. Because the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. began in March of 2020, many real properties experienced declines in property values in 2020 that pre-S.B. 57 law cannot reflect for tax purposes until Jan. 1, 2021.

To remedy this, S.B. 57 allows property owners, within 30 days of the law’s effective date, to file special complaints to reduce the tax year 2020 value of their affected properties. A county board of revision (BOR) reviewing a special complaint must determine the 2020 value as of Oct. 1, 2020 instead of Jan. 1, 2020. The special complaint must specifically allege how a circumstance related to the COVID-19 pandemic or a state COVID-19 order affected the real property’s value between January 1 and Oct. 1, 2020, or it will be dismissed.

The new law also permits this special complaint to be filed as a second complaint in a three-year interim period, permits similar COVID-19-related complaints for tax years 2021 or 2022 to be the second complaint in a three-year interim period, and for the first time, it allows a triple-net tenant in a commercial or industrial property to file a complaint – provided the tenant is obligated to pay all taxes on the property and has the owner’s consent. In addition to these property tax valuation changes, S.B. 57 also makes changes relating to required payments under certain property tax incentive programs, and it provides a tax exemption for certain permanent supportive housing programs.

Taxpayers with properties negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic or state COVID-19 orders should move quickly to consult with appraisers and legal counsel to determine whether a special tax year 2020 complaint is in their best interests. Property owners may file special 2020 complaints after July 26, 2021, when the law takes effect, and must file them before Aug. 25, 2021.

If the value of your property may have been affected, contact Kelvin Lawrence or your Dinsmore attorney.