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Jul
21
2024
Economy

Downtown Yellow Springs and the surrounding neighborhoods, Sept. 2021. (Drone photo by Bryan Cady)

Yellow Springs property values, taxes to rise

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As a result of surging home values in Greene County, Yellow Springs residential property owners will see their property taxes go up in 2024, according to newly released data from the Greene County Auditor’s office.

Individual property values in the village are projected to rise, on average, 24% next year following a recent state-mandated valuation update that revalues individual properties based on local real estate market conditions and sales. If a property’s assessed value increases, then the taxes annually owed on that property also rise.

Why property values are rising

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According to the auditor’s website, Ohio requires that the auditor complete a reappraisal of every property in the county every six years and a triennial update every three years following the reappraisal.

A reappraisal involves a visual inspection of every property that includes assessing the condition of the property relative to other properties in the neighborhood. Triennial updates come from reviews of sales data over the three-year period since the last reappraisal.

Yellow Springs is on the lower end of the auditor’s projected property value increases in the county. Whereas Beavercreek Township will experience an average 23% rise in property values in 2024 compared to 2023, values in Cedarville Village and Xenia City, on the higher end, will rise an average of 39% and 36%, respectively.

The previous property value jump in Yellow Springs in 2020 was an average of 19% — 5% lower than what’s projected
for 2024.

According to longtime village resident and senior sales associate with Coldwell Banker Heritage Sam Eckenrode, property values are all a matter of supply and demand.

“As long as there are more people who want to live in Yellow Springs than we have housing for, the property values are likely to continue to increase,” she told the News this week. “In my adult life, I’ve never seen property values, or their related tax assessments go down.”

She added: “We also have finite borders and a beautiful, permanent greenbelt, so that affects supply as well. New housing developments here are very rare, and even if we wanted to build more, there’s really no place to sprawl.”

Yellow Springs residents, who should have received a letter from the auditor earlier this month regarding their individual home’s new valuation, can contest that valuation by calling the auditor’s office at 937-562-5065 or by filling out an application with the Greene County Board of Revision, available at greenecountyohio.gov.

Informal reviews will run through Oct. 6, and final values will be updated on the auditor’s website in December. Those who still disagree with their property values after the informal review process may file a complaint with the Greene County Board of Revision between Jan. 1 and March 31, 2024.

Estimating tax increase complex

As local voters are no doubt aware from past property tax levy discussions, figuring out what an increase in property taxes might look like is complex.

Property taxes are calculated beginning with a home’s appraised value — that is, what the property would sell for at a given point in time. Taxes are paid on a property’s assessed value, which is 35% of the appraised value; for example, if one’s property has an appraised value of $100,000, the assessed — or taxable — value is $35,000. Assessed value multiplied by the tax rate produces the tax due.

Residents of Yellow Springs are currently paying a total of about 66 mills annually — a tax rate of 6.6% — for both voted and unvoted property tax levies across the county, the township, the village and the school district.

To get an estimate of next year’s taxes, one can multiply the current tax rate (expressed as .066) against their home’s newly updated assessed value and get a figure that will reflect a rise in taxes.

Complicating the issue of an accurate estimate, however, are a few taxing mechanisms: First, many levies approved by voters are designed to collect a specific dollar amount — for that reason, when property values go up, the millage associated with those levies actually goes down.

For example, the upcoming school facilities bond issue levy, which is set to appear on the November ballot this year, is set to collect a specified dollar amount of about $26.6 million, and will not be affected by the rise in property values if passed. Instead, because of the rise in property values, the tax rate associated with the levy will drop so that it does not collect more than
$26.6 million.

On the other hand, each taxing district has a certain percentage of unvoted, or inside, property tax levies granted to them by the state. These levies  are not designed to collect a specific dollar amount, but to maintain a fixed tax rate, so that when property values go up, so does the revenue they collect.

With these things in mind, when a municipality’s property values rise, its overall tax rate effectively lowers to keep voted levies collecting the same amount of revenue — but because of the unvoted levies, residents still pay higher taxes.

According to Greene County Auditor David Graham, who spoke to the News by phone this week, Yellow Springs’ tax rate for next year won’t be set in stone until the end of the year after elections.

“It’s still just an estimate because tax rates won’t be certified until December,” Graham said.

Nevertheless, the Auditor’s office has created a property tax estimator that allows residents to estimate — broadly — what their taxes will look like next year. That property tax estimator is available online at apps.greenecountyohio.gov/Auditor/CalcTaxes.

Readers should note two things about the calculator: First, though onscreen values make it appear as though the calculator uses the current tax rate for its calculations, it actually uses the Auditor’s estimate of what the new tax rate will be as voted millage drops and unvoted millage stays the same — about 60 mills, or 6%. For example, according to the calculator, a homeowner with a property valued at $100,000 will pay about $2,100 in taxes.

Second, Graham noted that estimates produced by the calculator do not factor in any tax credits residents might receive, or any new levies that might be passed in November. 

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One Response to “Yellow Springs property values, taxes to rise”

  1. Sue Parker says:

    I believe that people have until October 11 to challenge taxes. The date was extended by the county.

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