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Published: Friday, 3/22/2013

Property-value appeal process goes online

Auditor: Lucas Co. 1st in state with service

BY TOM TROY
BLADE POLITICS WRITER
Lopez Lopez
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Lucas County is the first in the state to offer property owners the option of appealing their property valuation to the Board of Revision online, county Auditor Anita Lopez said Thursday.

Ms. Lopez announced the new electronic filing format during a news conference in Government Center.

She also issued a reminder that April 1 is the deadline to file an appeal of last year’s three-year revaluation and get a revision reflected on this year’s tax bills.

Traditionally, property owners submit a notarized form to the Board of Revision identifying their property, their current values, and what they believe the correct value should be in response to the previous year’s revaluation of property values.

Ms. Lopez said that under the new procedure, as soon as a property owner enters a parcel number in the online form it automatically populates the form with the owner’s name, address, and current value. She noted that will cut down on the chances of minor errors that in the past have resulted in some appeals being rejected automatically.

The form can be found at co.lucas.oh.us/auditor. Owners still must submit a form with their signature and that of a notary public but that can be submitted by email or fax. Property owners can also file the entire appeal by email or fax after downloading a form from the auditor’s office.

“This is just a friendlier way of allowing government to serve citizens,” Ms. Lopez said. She also said the program will reduce the number of staff needed to process Board of Revision documents.

Gary Gudmundson, a state tax department spokesmen, confirmed that Lucas County is the first in Ohio to take advantage of a new law allowing counties to set up an online appeal process. He said Lucas County’s process was approved several weeks ago.

Ms. Lopez, a Democrat, was asked at the same news event if she intends to run for mayor of Toledo, something she has said she is considering.

“I am seeking citizens’ and business leaders’ opinions first, and then I’ll be able to decide officially for you. I understand citizens are anxious. I am approached it seems like almost every day, and I’m very excited about the opportunities that may exist,” she said.

Ms. Lopez said auditor’s office employees will be available to discuss their property tax values with the public from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. next Thursday at the Northwestern Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council office, 909 Front St. The office will stay open until 6 p.m. on April 1 to accept filings. However, electronically filed applications will be accepted only until 5 p.m.

Contact Tom Troy at: tomtroy@theblade.com or 419-724-6058.


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