Residents attend county property tax forum, hoping to have homes reappraised

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ROCKY RIVER, Ohio -- Cuyahoga County held an re-appraisal meeting to give homeowners a chance to make their case for a lower appraisal Thursday.

Even though about a dozen county auditors actually started hearing appeals 15 minutes before the doors were scheduled to open, there were already more than 50 other homeowners waiting for their chance to get their home appraisals reviewed.

"I almost had a heart attack," Pete Ina of Westlake said, "They went up $80,000 on my house."

Ina has lived in his Westlake home most of his life. He and his neighbors, along with many folks in the western suburbs, saw dramatic increases in their home values.

Ina hoped that by talking with the county and showing them his home, that he can get a break.

"At least they're willing to listen to you and give you a little a hope that they'll do something," Ina said.

This round of home appraisals was outright shocking for many folks and Cuyahoga County is hoping that by keeping people informed and clearing up any misconceptions, everyone can get they want.

Homeowners could get more exact appraisals and fair tax rates, and the county can get the money it needs to provide services to more than a million people.

"Your taxes are not going up in proportion to what your value went up.  So like you said, if your value went up 20% it just depends on where your overall community went up. So, if your community went up 20% over all, your taxes are likely going to stay the same," County Fiscal Office Operations Manager Lisa Rocco said.

But, when you're the one paying the bill it's still nerve wracking.

People on fixed incomes and young families say they could feel a pinch if their appraisal leads to high property taxes.

Most people at the property tax appraisal forum were hoping that by stating their case with pictures, facts and figures they'd only pay fair values.

"I said my case and what's happening in the area. Then, they were willing to listen and check it out," said Ina.

If you would like more information about how you can get your property re-appraised you can go to the county website here.

Continuing coverage here.

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