Officials work to reappraise properties damaged in tornadoes

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DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The Montgomery County auditor’s office has started the process of reappraising properties damaged by the Memorial Day tornadoes.

Montgomery County’s 2020 property revaluation process was nearly complete when the tornadoes hit, but appraisers now have to revisit thousands of properties, according to officials.

In letters sent to local jurisdictions, Auditor Karl Keith says he wants to make sure property owners are not faced with paying a full tax bill for extensively damaged properties.

Officials started the process Monday of taking pictures of properties in the tornadoes’ path.

“The unforeseen expenses that we will have – I’m still in the process of getting the damages repaired,” said Elba Alicia Pagan, who lives in Dayton.

Pagan told 2 NEWS she’s worried about those expenses after her home was damaged in the tornado, and several trees on her property fell down.

But her property taxes may go down as Montgomery County works to reappraise properties damaged by the tornadoes. According to Chief Deputy Auditor Kate Evans, officials will revisit and reexamine as many as 15,000 parcels in the storm’s path.

“Some of them are vacant lots, some of them wouldn’t have any damage,” Evans said. “We’re really looking at somewhere between 3,000 and 5,000 parcels having some sort of damage.”

Many of those properties were looked at shortly before the storm as part of the county’s revaluation process that takes place every six years, Evans said.

“We had very recent before imagery from late spring,” Evans said. “So we have a really good comparison between the two, and we were able to kind of really piece together what that storm track meant.”

Some neighbors told 2 NEWS they feel optimistic that the reappraisal process will make a difference.

“Come tax time, I know that my budget is going to greatly appreciate that relief,” Pagan said.

The auditor’s office is encouraging those with damaged properties to fill out an application for a damaged property deduction.

The process of taking photos of properties in the tornadoes’ path will continue into August, Evans said. The auditor’s office has informed local jurisdictions about the process and the vehicle workers will use to revisit properties, she added.

Property owners affected by the tornadoes will learn how their properties have been revalued toward the end of the year, Evans said.

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