POMEROY — Meigs County Auditor Mary T. Byer-Hill is warning property owners to beware of companies offering to assist with valuation appeals.
Tax Compliance Services, LLC of Cleveland is one of several companies mailing letters to area residents saying they could be overpaying their taxes because “the County” value of their property might be in error.
“I have seen solicitations that say owners could be overpaying by thousands of dollars”, said Byer-Hill.
Some mailings offer “specialized property technology” to examine county property tax records. Auditor Byer-Hill said that owners can do the research on their own and can file an appeal for no charge with the Board of Revision (BOR).
The BOR is a three-member board which includes a County Commissioner, the County Treasurer and the County Auditor.
She noted that no one can offer a “guarantee” or “a very high likelihood” of a value reduction.
“Promises of ‘risk free’ filings are extremely misleading. Each case is considered on its merits and the BOR can increase a value”, she said. “Filing a BOR complaint is the initiation of a legal proceeding. Potential filers are urged to carefully review the instructions we provide to best present their case,” she added.
“We often advise homeowners to contact a realtor who is active in the area for an independent opinion of their value as a first step,” she said. “They can also review recent sales of comparable properties on our website www.meigscountyauditor.org.”
“The information is available and easy to access,” said Byer-Hill. “Why pay some out-of-town company to provide what anyone can get at no cost?” she asked. She said similar letters have been mailed to property owners in counties across the state.
Byer-Hill completed a full appraisal in 2010. The current values became effective with the first tax bill in 2011. Owners who believe their value is inaccurate should make sure their BOR complaint forms are received by the Auditor’s office by 4:30pm on March 31.
Complaint forms and instructions are available from the Auditor’s office or may be accessed on the Auditor’s website.