In recent decisions, the Ohio Board of Tax Appeals has ruled against property owners who rely upon Tax Compliance Service reports as evidence in their Board of Revision appeals.  Services like these typically charge property owners a substantial fee in order to prepare evidence in Board of Revision cases.  The following is an excerpt from the recent decision-

“The only evidence this board has to consider is the report prepared by Tax Compliance Services that was attached to the appellant’s original complaint.  With regard to the list of properties within this report, we do acknowledge that this type of data is commonly relied upon by appraisers to develop an opinion of value for residential properties.  However, not only must this board be satisfied regarding the reliability of such sales, i.e., that they are actual, arm’s-length transactions, but we must also be able to discern the similarity of such properties to the one under consideration and what adjustments, if any, are warranted to account for perceived differences.  See, generally, Ohio Adm. Code 5703-25-05 n1 and 5703-25-07(D)(1);  Speca v. Montgomery Cty. Bd. Of Revision (Mar. 25, 2008), BTA No. 2006-K-2144, 2008 Ohio Tax LEXIS 563, unreported.  In the instant case, Mr. Wilson provided this board with no information that would enable us to determine that the sales were arm’s length in nature.  In addition, the condition and location of the properties is impossible to ascertain from the record and therefore, the need, if any, for adjustments is unclear.  Thus, without more information, this board is not able to use this list of sales to support the appellant’s opinion of value.”  Wilson v. Summit County Bd. Of Revision, 2012 Ohio Tax LEXIS 5643, 5-6 (Ohio B.T.A. Nov. 20, 2012)

Click here for the entire text of the decision.