Ohio Enacts Senate Bill 57: Real Estate Property Tax Relief May 4, 2021

ag smallReal Estate Property Tax Relief
By: Adam Glassman

To address ongoing concerns of property devaluation as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ohio legislature enacted Senate Bill 57 (“SB 57”). This legislation gives real property taxpayers in Ohio the opportunity to file special COVID related complaints for the 2020 tax year if the pandemic led to a decrease in a property’s value.

For only a 30-day period beginning July 26, 2021 (the date SB 57 becomes effective) and ending August 25, 2021, taxpayers can file a COVID complaint with their local Board of Revision to have a property’s latest tax valuation be computed as of October 1, 2020 rather than January 1, 2020.

Under normal circumstances a taxpayer can only file a property tax valuation complaint once during a property’s three-year valuation period, however, SB 57 eliminates that limitation for taxpayers wanting to file a COVID complaint. SB 57 also permits a property’s tenant to file a COVID complaint, provided the subject property is used for commercial purposes, the tenant is obligated to pay all real property taxes levied against the property, and the lease allows – or the property’s owner otherwise authorizes – the tenant to file such a tax valuation complaint.

Any property owner or tenant (if applicable) in Ohio may have a COVID complaint considered by a county Board of Revision if the complaint is timely filed and it demonstrates, with particularity, how COVID or a related order caused a property’s value to decrease. Merely alleging a general decline in economic or market conditions in the area or region of the subject property is not sufficient to meet the strict burden set forth in SB 57 for a COVID complaint. If a taxpayer cannot satisfy the legislation’s requirements, the reviewing Board of Revision will dismiss the complaint accordingly.

Due to the limited window for filing a COVID complaint, taxpayers are encouraged to start assessing whether a property tax reevaluation is warranted. The attorneys at McCarthy Lebit are available to assist with this process, or to discuss any questions or needs that your business may have.

Adam Glassman is an associate at the Cleveland, OH-based law firm McCarthy, Lebit, Crystal & Liffman Co., LPA.


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