Ohio Governor Signs COVID Property Tax Relief Bill Into Law

  • By: Vicky Berkowitz
  • Date: 5/6/21 at 10:25 am
  • Uncommented

The common refrain of property tax assessors over the past year has been that their hands are tied when it comes to offering property tax relief for properties negatively affected by the COVID pandemic until the assessment date of value advances past the pandemic’s beginning.  The vast majority of jurisdictions fell into this category for the assessments that were appealable in 2020.  However, many jurisdictions still fall into this category for assessments appealable in 2021, either due to lagging assessment or appeal dates, or reassessment cycles that are not annual.  The wait for relief can also be compounded in jurisdictions where there is a longer lag between when values are established and when those values are taxed.

The governor in Ohio has signed a COVID property tax relief bill into law to allow the county Boards of Revision to consider the pandemic’s effects on property values on an individual basis.  This is particularly important in Ohio, where the 2020 assessments, appealable in 2021, are the basis for the 2021 property tax bills.  The relief law allows the Boards of Revision to use a 10/1/2020 date of value rather than the standard 1/1/2020 date of value.  This means that property owners will not have to wait until the 2021 pay 2022 year to receive relief.  The caveat is that these COVID complaints, which can be filed between 7/26/2021 and 8/25/2021, must document specific impact on the property in question rather than make general claims about the pandemic’s effects on the market or economic conditions.

We will continue to monitor whether other states follow suit and introduce their own relief options.  On a local level, we will monitor whether jurisdictions that do not complete annual reassessments choose to adjust their reassessment cycles and complete revaluations sooner than required.