Wednesday, November 24, 1999
Property values up 15 percent
New tax bills to be mailed in January
BY DAN KLEPAL
The Cincinnati Enquirer
How much is Hamilton County worth? About $14 billion, give or take a few hundred million.
The county's property tax values were confirmed Tuesday by County Auditor Dusty Rhodes. The values for residen tial, industrial, commercial and agricultural lands were sent to Columbus, where the Ohio tax commissioner will certify them.
Once the state has signed off on the values, Mr. Rhodes' office will begin mailing postcards to each of the county's 340,000 homes, businesses and farms to inform them of their value.
Land value in Hamilton County is about 15 percent higher than 1996, when the last reappraisal was done.
But that won't translate into more money for schools, elderly people, mentally disabled peo ple or any other program paid for by special tax levies.
That's because those levies were passed by voters to raise a specific amount of money during the lifetime of the tax. So when higher property values come in, the millage rate of the taxes is reduced.
Mr. Rhodes said property reappraisals which happen countywide every six years and on a smaller scale every third year are not meant to increase taxes. Nor will a 15 percent increase in county land value mean a 15 percent in crease in an individual property owner's tax bill, he said.
Rather, the reappraisals simply ensure a fair valuation on property so everyone pays his or her fair share of tax. Individual property tax bills are calculated by a complex formula that takes into account surrounding properties in the neighborhood.
The reappraisals are not a way to get more tax money out of people, it's simply a way to rebalance the values, Mr. Rhodes said.
There is more than $2 billion in property exempt from paying tax. The biggest chunks of that pie go to businesses that have received tax abatements ($640 million) and charitable properties ($327 million).
County Commissioner John Dowlin said granting tax abatements is a wise investment in the community.
These are corporations that have said if they don't get tax relief, they may move somewhere else, Mr. Dowlin said. It's a game of chicken we play with them.
But from my standpoint, unless there is a national man date that says no one may grant tax abatements, we've got to play the game.
County Treasurer Robert Goering said the 15 percent increase owes a lot to the booming economy. This is simply a reflection of what we see in the marketplace, Mr. Goering said.
Tax bills will be mailed the first of the year. Any property owner who thinks his property has been overvalued can file a protest with the county Board of Revision.
Queen City's moments to shine reflected in book
Qualls says goodbye to City Hall
FOP backs down in conflict with cop-killing lawyer
Holiday travel rush is on
Granny D walks nation for campaign finance reform
Property values up 15 percent
Taft proposes report card for state's colleges
Taft wants to unplug electric chair
Zoo's new baby is Chaka's legacy
250 protest planned Hustler store
Bitterness follows superintendent's hiring
Thieves get $300,000 in jewels
'Toy Story 2:' Woody and gang faster, funnier
'End of Days' gutsy, gore-packed action flick
'Flawless' brilliantly acted, but plot just too predictable
'Princess Mononoke' subtle tale for grown-ups
'The Straight Story:' A simple movie about people
Bob Braun retiring from broadcasting
Calling cards come with picture of Pope, prayers
GET TO IT
Shania Twain repetitive, but still real
TV news: Just say 'I don't know'
72 elementary schools win grants
Accused teacher won't return to class
'Big Five' spending is approved
Boyfriend sent to prison in murder
Clermont to charge inmates for stays
Exotic dancer sues Blue Ash
Home rule plays well in Union Twp.
Kenton housing plan advances
Ludlow trying to remedy water woes
Mason will check draw on aquifer
Newport police union takes contract squabble public
Southgate superintendent wins Ky. honor
Suspect held in library attacks
Three Rivers may put 8.2-mill levy on ballot
Trenton agog as Edgewood aims for title