During this year’s campaign, my opponent has frequently referred to a study analyzing the results of the county’s last reappraisal. He claims this study indicates that the Montgomery County Auditor’s Office performed poorly when compared to other counties and that our results were not in compliance with professional standards.
Only recently has my opponent made available the data used to perform his analysis, and it is clear now why he was reluctant to share this information. This so-called “study” is riddled with bad data. Many of the property sales comparisons used in my opponent’s review are incomplete, inaccurate and invalid. For example:
- Some of the sales involved multiple properties but his analysis included only one.
- Some of the properties have had their taxes abated by their local jurisdictions but the study failed to identify the abated value.
- And, some of the properties had been in foreclosure or had been purchased and sold multiple times in a single year.
It’s no wonder that a professor from the Department of Finance at Wright State University who examined this study was quoted in the Dayton Daily News saying “I wouldn’t put a lot weight in (these) numbers.”
The truth is every county in Ohio must submit their property values to the Ohio Department of Taxation for its review and approval whenever a reappraisal or an update is performed. The Department of Taxation would never have approved Montgomery County’s values if the results were as my opponent claims.
When the Department of Taxation performed its most recent analysis of property values set by my office they were found to be at 97% of current market values. This conclusion is based upon an independent review using real, reliable data. It demonstrates that values determined by my office are well in compliance with professional standards and are, in fact, at the statewide average for counties on the same reappraisal cycle.
Establishing property values for assessment purposes is a difficult and complex process. Nevertheless, verifiable evidence clearly shows that values set by my office fairly reflect the local real estate market in Montgomery County despite my opponent’s lack of understanding and misinformation.