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Can you challenge your home appraisal value?

Some local residents are raising concerns after receiving their latest home appraisal notifications. But what happens if the number you see is far more than you expected?

Beginning in late July, residential property owners started to receive their new property values after the conclusion of Summit County’s triennial appraisal update for 2017.

“The value of my house went up over 28 percent which I thought was pretty high,” said Lynne Hillegas, of Cuyahoga Falls.

Dozens of Summit County residents, including Hillegas, stopped by one of the county’s 10 community meetings to address concerns related to property values with an appraiser.

Hillegas spoke to an appraiser about her home’s nearly 30 percent jump in value that left her concerned about an increase in taxes.

“[The appraiser] did answer that all of that won’t be on my tax bill.

She still plans to meet with an appraiser at her home..

“Maybe I’ll be lucky enough to get a reduction,” said Hillegas.

After Summit County completed their 3-year, in-house evaluations (appraisals based on comparing similar home values in the area) on about 275,000 parcels, they received around 3,500 claims.

“That’s not all just disputing that their value is too high,” said Tom Minninger, Director of Appraisals for the

Summit County Fiscal Office. "It could be a change in their listing. We’ve actually had a few who want their values up.”

So does it work to issue a claim with the county to dispute the appraisal?

“Oh yes,” said Minninger.

There’s proof that it works. In Geauga County, one resident took her concerns to the county auditor’s office after her home value increased approximately $30,000. The office helped to negotiate a new deal that same day bringing that number back down.

“We’re here to help, not punish,” said Geauga County Auditor Frank Gliha.

Other counties provide similar efforts, too.

“A taxpayer who disagrees with the proposed value of his property during the triennial/sexennial reappraisal process may informally dispute it by responding to the County’s “Proposed Value Notice”, writing to the Fiscal Officer, or going on-line and completing the form,” said Mary Louise Madigan, director of communications with Cuyahoga County.

The current process of disputing your home’s appraisal value is considered “informal,” according to Madigan.

If your “informal” claim isn’t accepted, there’s another chance to file a complaint with your county’s board of revision beginning Jan. 1 through March 31.

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