The county auditor conducts a reappraisal of each parcel of real estate every six years. During these sexenniel reappraisals, auditor's employees work with an approved appraisal contractor in conducting a mass appraisal, resulting in updated values for each piece of real estate. Three years after the reappraisal, the auditor conducts a triennial update. The triennial update does not include a visual inspection of your property but is based upon actual sales information for each neighborhood during the previous three years.
After a reappraisal or update, and in-between the three-year cycles, if you believe that the auditor's value for your property is too high, you can appeal to your local county board of revision. To begin an appeal, you must file a Complaint Against the Valuation of Real Property on the proper form. The form is called DTE Form 1.
If you file a complaint, it is important to read the instructions and complete each section of the form. Accurately list the owner of the property, the address, and parcel numbers. It must be signed and notarized.
The deadline for filing a complaint is March 31 of the applicable year.
You can only complain about the value of a parcel once during each three-year period updates unless something specific has changed. The exceptions are: if the property was sold in an arm's length transaction; if there was a substantial improvement to the property; if the property lost value due to a casualty (damage from a sudden event such as a fire or tornado); or an occupancy change (on commercial property) of at least 15 percent that had a substantial economic impact on the property. There is no filing fee.
After the complaint is filed, the clerk of the board of revision will schedule a hearing date. The clerk will send a notice in the mail to the address you provided on the complaint form.
Most residential cases are scheduled for 15 minutes but the board of revision tries to allow for additional time if the case is complex or if there are issues that require additional time to present.
The board of revision is created by Ohio law and is comprised of the county treasurer, the county auditor, and the president of the board of county commissioners. In most hearings, the elected officials who comprise the board of revision appoint one of their employees to represent them at the hearing. The treasurer or the treasurer's representative usually chairs the hearings.
At the hearing, the property owner or complainant has the burden of proof to justify a change in value. By law, the auditor's value is presumed to be correct. So, the complaining parties must provide evidence of their opinion of value. The board of revision will send you its decision in the mail, usually within a few weeks of the hearing. If you disagree with the board's decision, you can appeal to the Court of Common Pleas or to the Board of Tax Appeals in Columbus.
You can obtain DTE Form 1 from the local board of revision office (in Lorain County, J Grant Keys Administration Building, 2nd floor, 226 Middle Avenue, Elyria, Ohio 44035) or online at
J. Craig Snodgrass CPA, CGFM
Lorain County Auditor