Property valuation changes won’t necessarily be windfall for schools

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By Linda Dillman
Staff Writer

A property valuation update by Franklin County could mean more dollars in Canal Winchester Local Schools’ coffers, but despite an average 20 percent jump in valuation, it is not a windfall for the district due to rollbacks.

“The district is going to see their largest valuation increase in the history of the school district once the valuations are released,” said Canal Winchester Schools Treasurer Nick Roberts, who reported the increase could be nearly $80 million. “There’s going to be a lot of challenges from commercial properties and industrial and business properties because there are a lot of value discrepancy disputes that are going to happen. The Board of Revision is going to be very busy.”

While the increase looks massive, because of potential discrepancy disputes and property rollbacks, the increase for the district will be measured in hundreds of thousands of dollars.

“It’s (still) a pretty significant increase,” said Roberts, “because of millage. That’s the good news. The bad news is the state budget has not been passed. It seems like everything they can do to throw a hurdle up in the public education way, they seem to try to do. Hopefully (they can) get fair funding for schools moving forward.”

For property owners, despite an increase in valuation, they could see a decrease in school taxes because a district can only collect what they ask for from voters. The valuation increase is spread among a growing number of taxpayers, which further spreads out the levy collection.

“People are going to see a break in their taxes,” said Roberts, “which hopefully helps with the increase in valuation.”

Under state law and department of taxation rules, real property in all counties is reappraised every six years and property values are updated in the third year following each sexennial reappraisal. Franklin County fell under the 2020 three-year update guideline.

Requests to delay the process based on COVID-19 related economic uncertainties, a rising unemployment rate, and unpredictability among residential and commercial property owners were denied by the state in May 2020.

A property tax levy is the collection of taxes charged on the value of property. School boards propose additional local tax revenues by board resolution. School districts can place a levy on the ballot up to three times a year on specified election dates. If a majority of voters in an election approve the tax, county officials charge and collect the tax under the terms specified in the tax levy proposal.

Property subject to taxation includes buildings and land held by individuals or businesses and divided into two classes: residential/agricultural) and commercial/ industrial and all other real property.

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