Challenging the auditor
Homeowners can challenge the proposed value of their homes during special sessions this month hosted by the Franklin County auditor’s office.
The nine remaining sessions will be held from Monday through Sept. 28. For a list of session locations and times, click on “Informal Value Reviews” at franklincountyauditor.com.
Homeowners also can challenge their values online by clicking on “Document Submittal” on the tentative value report found for each property.
Whether challenging online or in person, property owners should provide documentation that their property is incorrectly valued. Such documentation could include: a recent sale or appraisal of the property; values of similar properties in the same neighborhood; or evidence that the auditor’s information on the home is incorrect. closer to 10 to 20 percent.
Heather and Christian Snediker-Morscheck were alarmed to discover that the value of their 1,800-squarefoot home built in 1963 had risen from $243,200 to $515,300.
“I laughed at it,” said Mr. Snediker-Morscheck. “I said, ‘What’s going on here?’”
The couple’s home is on a 0.42-acre corner lot, slightly larger than most neighboring lots. Next door, a similar home on a 0.27acre lot rose 18.6 percent in value.
Nearby, the value of David and Nancy Johnston’s 1,820-square-foot home had jumped 121 percent, from $219,800 to $485,100.
“We were totally shocked,” Mrs. Johnston said. “It’s utterly ridiculous.”
The couple’s’ home is on 0.63 acre that could not be split to accommodate another home. A similar home next door on a quarter-acre lot is valued at $281,700, more than $200,000 less.
O’Neil said the way the appraising model has valued land “may need to be looked at.”
As of Friday, property owners had challenged the values of 7,165 parcels during a series of review sessions the county is hosting. Many of the challenges are on land-only parcels.
“I can confidently say from the folks we have talked to that the land values have been their No. 1 concern,” O’Neil said.
O’Neil noted that only a tiny portion of the county’s proposed values have been found to be in error so far.
“When you’re dealing with more than 435,000 properties in the county, there are going to be a few errors,” he said.
O’Neil also cautioned that the values, which the county adjusts every three years for taxing purposes, are preliminary. Final values will be set in November, after property owners have a chance to challenge their new appraisals.
“Our appraisers have been reviewing this type of stuff,” O’Neil said. “Any errors will be corrected before values are finalized.”
Franklin County has valued 6796 Bowerman St. E. in Worthington, left, at $ 251,000. But next, door, at 6786, the valuation is $471,000.