Welcome to

The Stark County Auditor

Appraisal

 

“Fair, Accurate and Uniform”

The Appraisal Department’s goal is to equally tax residents by utilizing a process defined as mass appraisal. 

  • Mass Appraisal is defined as the process of valuing a universe of properties as of a given date using standard methodology, employing common data, and allowing for statistical testing.

The Stark County Auditor’s office routinely collects data that is verified from multiple sources.  You may have seen a door hanger or been sent a letter requesting certain important information that may assist the Appraisal Department in recording accurate information from the taxpayers. The department collects data from many avenues to ensure that a fair market value for your property will be assessed.  Avenues such as;

  • Field Verification
  • Pictometry or Aerial photography
  • Owner submitted sale/value information i.e. fee appraisal, settlement statement or purchase agreement
  • Local auction results
  • MLS (Multiple Listing Service) data verification

Generally, our State Licensed/Certified Appraisal staff does not have the ability to enter the home.  Fee appraisers (bank or single property); on the other hand usually have total access.  Our staff appraisers vary in many ways than fee appraisers which are illustrated below: 

Mass Appraisal

"Bank" or Single Property Appraisal

195,000 properties

1 property

Analyze 3 years of Sales

Use sales no older than 3‐6 months

Inspection ‐ Most Exterior only

Inspection ‐ Interior and Exterior usually required

2 1/2 years to complete

2 ‐ 3 days turnaround

Equalization with other properties

No equalization

Testing of results required

No testing necessary

About $15 to $25 per property

$250 to $1,000 for residential property; more for commercial property

 

The appraisal department must tax the property according to the fair market value.  Ohio law requires that a property’s value be established for tax purposes using a uniform approach that produces a fair estimate of what the property would sell for on the open market (http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/5713).  Stark County property reappraisal values were certified in December 2012.

Please refer to our FAQ section to answer frequently asked questions regarding the mass appraisal process or call (330) 451-7085 to speak to a staff employee.

 

 

Questions and Answers

A.

Ohio Law requires the county auditor to reappraise all real property at fair market value every six years and to update values every three years. In Stark County the last reappraisal was completed in 2006, with an update in 2009. Consequently, 2012 is a reappraisal year. Once in every six year period, the county auditor is required to view each property and update the public record. This verification is done by a data collector who measures and lists the attributes of every parcel. During the reappraisal, the Auditor must revalue each individual property through a mass appraisal process that considers market sales from local neighborhoods. These sales are studied and applied using mass appraisal techniques to estimate values for each property in the county. The goal of a reappraisal is to adjust and maintain realistic market values and to ensure that every property is being taxed fairly and is taxed uniformly in comparison with similar properties.

A.

In Ohio, county auditors are required to do a full general reappraisal once in every six years. This process is called the Sexennial Reappraisal. The Auditor or his qualified appraiser is required to view and appraise every property in the county for this purpose. The process takes between two and two‐and‐a‐half years for a county the size of Stark to be completed. On the third year in between reappraisals, each county auditor is required to perform a statistical analysis of the sales which have occurred in the prior three years and provide for a percentage adjustment to be made to the values of all properties in each given marketing neighborhood. These adjustments are also stratified according to value to assure that the equitability of the valuations is maintained or corrected based on the analysis of comparable sales. This process is called the Triennial Update. Other than the state mandated reappraisal or update, each Auditor is charged with annually maintaining the properties which have been found to have changed or are no longer appraised at their fair market value. Most often the change is due to new construction, a change in the physical size or shape of the land, or a demolition or damage to a property.

A.

Fair Market Value is the probable price a property will sell for in an open market, between a willing buyer and seller; no pressure from or on either party; and both parties have full knowledge and facts concerning the property.  Only arms-length sales are considered, which would not include short sales or bank sales. 

 

A.

Location. Location. Location. You've heard the saying and it is true that the location of a property is the most significant characteristic of real property which drives its market value. We also consider the size and topography of the land; age of the structure; the style of the home, one‐story, two‐story, bi‐level, split‐level; the number of square feet of finished living
space; the quality of construction; numbers of bedrooms and baths; car storage; basement size and finish; fireplaces; air conditioning; other exterior features or structures as well as the overall condition of the improvements.

A.

This past fall, the Auditor conducted an informal review by sending notices to all property owners in the mail, informing them of their new 2012 value. Unfortunately the time for an informal review of your value has passed. If you believe that your property value is not correct, you must file a formal appeal and provide probative evidence of your claim to a different value. This formal appeal is referred to as a “Board of Revision” within the office. The deadline to file a formal appeal with the Stark County Board of Revision is April 1, 2013. We would ask before you file a formal appeal that you would review the list below and make sure you have valid evidence in order to file an appeal. If you do not have valid, probative evidence, your appeal will likely be unsuccessful.

We would ask you to review the property record facts and inform us of any necessary corrections. An accurate property record is the basis for a fair and uniform appraisal. You may find the essential facts of your property record by conducting a search of your name, address or parcel number found on your real estate tax bill.

We would ask you to review your records to see if you have any of the following information listed below that would be considered as evidence in support of a value change:

  • A recent sale of the property (2010 or later) that was arms length and the conditions of the sale were consistent with market value. Market Value is the probable price a property will sell for in an open market, between a willing buyer and seller; no pressure from or on either party; and both parties have full knowledge and facts concerning the property.
  • A recent appraisal (2010 or later) of the property done for market value purposes.
  • A competitive market analysis (CMA) done by a local Realtor.
  • A copy of a recent listing agreement for the property (2010 or later).
  • A listing of comparable sales showing the market adjustments for differences to the subject. "Comparable" meaning in terms of location, size, age, condition, quality of construction, etc.
  • The total cost to build a newly constructed home, including the cost to acquire the land, septic/sewer hookup, well/water hookup, landscaping and driveway. The market does not recognize a reduction in value for owner participation in the construction; therefore add value at builder's rates for any work done by the owner.

Please keep in mind that Board of Revision hearings focus on property values, NOT taxes. Separate from your property's value review, some property owners may see real property tax bill increase due to recent levies passed by voters in their school district, cities, villages, or townships. AGAIN, PROPERTY VALUES, NOT TAXES, ARE REVIEWABLE BY THE BOARD OF REVISION.

A.

For a property to be considered for use as a comparable sale it should include characteristics similar to the property being appraised. It should be located in the same marketing neighborhood. It would also be competitive with the subject property if both were offered on the market at the same point in time, attracting the same potential buyers. To be considered as a comparable sale, the sale date must also occur during the time period being examined. In the case of an appraisal for tax purposes in Ohio the relevant period is the three years prior to the valuation date.

A.

Assuming the properties are in the same taxing district, the same neighborhood and the land and buildings are identical, the difference in value is generally due to variance in amenities and finishes or upgrades. The amenities could be different with the same model home (i.e. decks, recreation rooms, exterior features and other improvements.)

A.

UnderOhiolaw, county auditors are not permitted to use foreclosure transactions directly in the appraisal process as comparable sales. First and foremost a foreclosure is not a sale; rather it is a judicial process. Second, many foreclosed properties are no longer in comparable condition to other area housing stock. The impact of foreclosures in a neighborhood is measured by the decline in sale prices resulting from arm's length open market sales in which neither party is compelled or forced to buy or sell. Therefore foreclosures are indirectly reflected in the market values established by your county auditor. One thing to consider with actual sales of bank‐owned property is that banks frequently do not obtain market value for the property. In fact, they often obtain something akin to “liquidation value” rather than market value. In these situations, the actual sales amount is more like that of a fire‐sale property.

A.

The primary difference is how the work is organized. Instead of performing an appraisal from beginning to end for each single property, as is done with a mortgage or bank appraisal, mass appraisers break the process down into its components for efficiency. For example, we gather data for all properties before beginning to set final values. Also, an appraisal for tax purposes always has an as of date of January 1 of the tax year for which the appraised value is being set. The appraisal techniques are identical but on a larger scale and at a much greater cost efficiency. Single property appraisals will take in consideration interior details such as the kind of tile you have in your kitchen and bath, the kind of light fixtures... mass appraisal does not.

A.

Yes, the values generated differ and they should. The purpose of each and the limitations on each are vastly different. The county auditor is required to establish value for tax purposes once every three years for the sole purpose of taxing each property equitably. Further, Ohio county auditors must use verified sales from the three years prior to the lien date (January 1), for which the values are to be established. The online valuation websites only are as good as the data entered into that application's database and the complexity of the analysis performed by the application. Generally home value websites are designed to indicate a value as of the day you request it and only the property's location and possibly style are considered.

A.

 

In December of 2012, the State Department of Taxation recalculated the tax reduction factors for each taxing district in the county. All new, replacement, or expiring levies were included in this analysis. The impact to the tax rates is developed for each individual levy. The Auditor has created a basic analysis for each taxing district showing the impact that the reappraisal had on each levy in each district. You may see this analysis by visiting the main page of the Auditor’s website. There are two classes of tax rates, one for residential and agricultural property and one for all other types.
The impact of a reappraisal on your individual tax bill depends on how other properties in the same tax district shifted in comparison to your property. If your value changes at the same rate as the average value change in your taxing district, up or down, you will see very little shift in your taxes. If your tax district experienced an overall decline in residential value and your value declined greater that the average decline in your district you should see a decline in tax. If your decline in value is a lesser percentage than the average decline in your taxing district, you may see a slight increase in your taxes. If your taxing district experienced an increase in the average residential value and your value increased at approximately the same rate, your taxes will remain similar to last year. If your district increased and your value decreased or went up at a lesser rate than the average, your taxes should decline. If the average value of your district increased and your property value increased at a greater rate, your taxes also will increase. Simply stated, there is no dollar-for-dollar correlation between the decrease/increase in appraised value and taxes.

A.

These are the most common tax relief programs for owner‐occupied homes:

The first is a state‐wide 10% reduction in property taxes for all residential and agricultural property in the county. This reduction is automatically applied to each property’s tax bill.

  • The second is a 2.5% reduction in taxes for owner‐occupied homes on residential and agricultural properties in each county. Please use the informal review application to see if you are presently receiving the benefit. If you feel you qualify and are not receiving the benefit, you can download a form to apply for the program here.
  • Third, if the homeowner is either permanently or totally disabled, or if the homeowner and/or their spouse are turning 65 years of age, and own and occupy a home in the county, you might be eligible for the Homestead Exemption. Please check our real estate search and look under the “Tax” tab to see if you are presently receiving the benefit. If you feel you qualify and are not receiving the benefit, you can download a form to apply for the program here.
  • In addition, if the property is agricultural, there is the Current Agricultural Use Value (CAUV) program for which the property might qualify. Eligible agricultural properties must either be over 10 acres of land being used for commercial agricultural production or, if the property is under 10 acres, the owner must show documentation of an average annual income based on agricultural production of at least $2,500. Please check our real estate search and look under the “Tax” tab to see if you are presently receiving the benefit. If you feel you qualify and are not receiving the benefit, you can download a form to apply for the program here.
A.

Your property taxes are calculated using three factors:

  1. the value of your property as determined by the county auditor
  2. the tax rate established in your community
  3. tax reductions, credits and rollbacks established byOhiolaw.

Property values
Your property was revalued by the county auditor during the 2012 Reappraisal. Based on recent economic conditions, most properties inStarkCounty experienced a reduction in property value. Please be aware that a decrease in property value does not result in a comparable decrease in property taxes due to the HB 920 tax reduction factor (see below). 

Tax Rates
Tax rates change when the voters within a community approve new levies.

Tax Reduction Factor
The HB 920 reduction factor, mandated byOhio law, is designed to keep tax revenues stable when property values increase or decrease. The factor that prevented your taxes from dramatically increasing when property values were on the rise will now keep your taxes from significantly decreasing despite declining property values. This reduction factor will keep the revenue to our schools, cities, libraries, etc. at nearly the same level as originally approved by the voters. A portion of your tax rate is not affected by the tax reduction factor and will result in a slight decrease in your tax bill.