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Treating a Property as Unencumbered for Tax Appraisal Does Not Require Treating the Property as Vacant

In the case Rancho Cincinnati Rivers, LLC v. Warren Cty. Bd. of Revision, 12th Dist. Warren No. CA2019-07-075, 2020-Ohio-1319, an Ohio appellate court held that treating a property as unencumbered for the purposes of tax appraisals does not require the appraiser to treat the property as vacant.

In this case, a dispute over the valuation of property hinged on how two appraisers interpreted the requirement of appraising property under R.C. 5713.03 as fee simple unencumbered. One appraiser believed fee simple unencumbered requires that property be vacant on tax lien date and assumes a sale of the property without a tenant. The other appraiser, working for the school district, believed that such a method undervalued property because the valuation should assume the property is being operated at its best use, which in this case was as a store.

The Ohio appellate court held that treating a property as unencumbered for the purposes of appraisal does not mean that an appraiser must assume the property as vacant or ignore the fact that the property is leased at a market rate.

To read this case, click here.

Authors: Matthew John Markling and the McGown & Markling Team.

Note: This blog entry does not constitute – nor does it contain – legal advice. Legal jurisprudence is like the always changing like the Midwestern weather. As a result, this single blog entry cannot substitute for consultation with a McGown & Markling attorney. If legal advice is needed with respect to a specific factual situation, please feel free to contact a McGown & Markling attorney.

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