Owners of tornado-damaged properties offered another chance for tax relief

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DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Owners of tornado-damaged property in Montgomery County who missed last year’s Damaged Property Deduction deadline are being offered another opportunity for tax relief.

On July 6, Montgomery County Auditor Karl Keith sent a letter to the owners of 1,372 tornado impacted properties, encouraging them to file a property value appeal with the Board of Revision. The letters are going to property owners identified by the Auditor’s Office as having experienced tornado damage, but who did not apply for the damaged property tax relief program last year.

Included with Keith’s letter is an appeal form and a settlement agreement. Property owners who complete both forms and return them to the Board of Revision by the Aug. 24 deadline are eligible for a partial refund in the property taxes they pay this year.

“As I said many times last year, no property owner should be stuck paying a full tax bill on a property that has been damaged or destroyed,” said Keith. “We want to get these property owners the refund they deserve, and we just need them to file an appeal to do so.”

Since the Auditor’s Office is completing a property reappraisal this summer, their appraisers have already established tentative new values for these properties. These new values take effect next year. The settlement agreement that was sent to eligible property owners will show the property’s current value, as well as its proposed lower value. The proposed lower value will account for damage incurred during last year’s tornadoes. Completing this agreement, along with an appeal form, allows the auditor’s office to lower the property’s value without a hearing.

Property owners who disagree with the tentative new value on their settlement agreement are able to make a case for a different value, according to Keith. Those individuals can submit their Board of Revision appeal form with their opinion of value, and they will be scheduled for a hearing later this year.

This new tax relief opportunity was made possible when Keith extended the Board of Revision appeal deadline to August 24. The extension was announced in accordance with the Ohio General Assembly’s COVID-19 emergency relief bill, signed by the governor in March. This new deadline gave the Auditor’s 2020 Property Reappraisal team enough time to determine tentative new values for each of the tornado damaged properties, which can be applied retroactively through the Board of Revision settlement process.

In June of last year, Auditor Keith began raising awareness of the Damaged Property Deduction program, which offered property tax relief to tornado victims. More than 1,200 owners of properties with tornado damage received the deduction, which reduced the taxable value of the properties based on the severity of damage. The auditor’s office promoted the program in the news, on social media, at events, and through the mail. The Damaged Property Deduction program provided relief on the tax bills property owners are paying this year.

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