Outside Evidence May Be Used in Ohio Value Reduction

The Ohio Supreme Court vacated and remanded a property tax valuation appeal because the board of tax appeals failed to weigh all the evidence in affirming the board of revision. A school board of education in Ohio challenged the decision of the board of tax appeals based on the tax board’s failure to weigh the evidence presented at the board of revision’s hearing.

The values of number of condominium parcels were reduced by the board of revision. The board of education claimed that the board of revision did not have a sufficient basis for the property value reductions. On appeal, the board of tax appeals stated that it found no evidence that the reduction orders were wrong. However, the tax board’s record of evidence did not include the board of revision’s deliberations.

The Court discussed the board of education’s claim that the board of revision should only consider evidence given by the property’s owner as evidence of a property’s value. The law does not prohibit a board of revision form consulting evidence beyond that presented by the owner at the board’s hearing. Just as the county auditor consults its experts in assessing the property, the board of revision may, when reviewing the complaints that come before it, seek evidence from consultants and staff appraisers. If the board of revision orders a reduction, and the board of education appeals the order, the board of revision as an appellee can be called on to account for how it determined the reduced value.

However, the Court held that the board of tax appeals erred because it did not independently weigh all the evidence.

Columbus City Schools Bd. of Edn. v. Franklin Cty. Bd. of Revision, Ohio Supreme Court, Slip Op. No. 2017-Ohio-5823, July 18, 2017, ¶404-640

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