Springfield homeowners frustrated over property tax challenges

Springfield homeowners frustrated over property tax challenges

HOLLAND, OH (WTOL) - First it was Sylvania homeowners, now residents who recently bought homes in the Springfield School District are frustrated over notices about their property taxes.

Some homeowners are seeing bills, thousands of dollars higher than they expected.

"This is an awesome, 'Welcome to Springfield Township gift that we're going to give you. Thank you for moving into our community!'" Bill Wilson, who bought his home in Springfield Township about a year ago, said.

Wilson says he was surprised to get a notice from the auditors office earlier this year that his property taxes would be going up significantly.

"It's $2,100, almost $2,200 a year," Wilson explained.

By law, school districts, which are primarily funded through property taxes, are allowed to challenge that tax bills be based on the sale price for homes that go for more than $50,000 above the value on the books with the auditor's office.

That happened for about 100 properties in the Springfield School District, including Wilson's.

The Treasurer for Springfield Schools, Ryan Lockwood, says the issue is rather cyclical. When the economy is down, homeowners are challenging for lower property taxes. Now, the pendulum is swinging the other direction.

"Over the long haul, I would estimate that we're in a zero balance situation," Lockwood explained. "We're not gaining. We're not losing, over a many year period, but taxes are never a favorable situation for anyone."

Lockwood says the district is being responsible with tax dollars and that challenges are only being issued to about one percent of property owners.

Wilson says he understands the district's point of view, but doesn't think this is the best approach.

"School levies from the past that didn't pass and new ones in the future because a lot of the new homeowners are going to remember this next time this rolls around," Wilson said.

New property valuations will be issued by the County Auditor in 2018. Wilson hopes the district can d rop the challenges until then.

He and other homeowners in the district are expected to attend the next Board of Education meeting on September 27 to voice their concerns to the Board.

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