SPRINGFIELD TOWNSHIP, OH (WTOL) - The Springfield School District filed complaints to the board of revisions to raise roughly 120 homeowners' property taxes based on the sale price of their home rather than the appraised value.
The school treasurer said Thursday it is not uncommon for this to happen with new home purchases, but some homeowners simply were not expecting the letters in the mail.
"We paid a lot more than it was assessed for," said Debra Hoffman, new resident in Springfield. "We sat and we looked at the payments. They told us what the taxes would be. What the monthly payments were going to be we figured we had a lot of wiggle room."
But Hoffman says no one told her that her property taxes could go up because they paid more than $50,000 than the appraised value of the home.
"If anything like taxes would go up, we would assume across the board, we figured we had a little wiggle room to work with," Hoffman said.
That wiggle room proved not enough. Hoffman and her husband got a letter in the mail saying their property taxes were going up based on the sale price of their home.
"The school district has nothing to do with the valuation of a house," said Ryan Lockwood, Springfield Schools Treasurer. "That's all either done at the auditor's office, the board of revision or the board of taxation at the state level."
What the school board can do is hire an attorney to file a complaint.
"To look at new homes sales. And on the other side of that to help us with decrease complaints because we have to argue those as well," Lockwood said.
The homeowners want the district to hold off on the complaints until the auditor's office updates property appraisals next year.
Meanwhile, Lockwood says homeowners can work with the district to make a settlement on their increases for only the time they lived in the house. As of now, the district has made no decision on whether or not to d rop the complaints.
Lockwood says the district does not want to have to use this approach, but the main problem is rooted in how schools are funded in Ohio, mainly through property taxes.