I-Team: Thousands of property owners getting a break after challenging big spikes in property values

CUYAHOGA COUNTY, Ohio -- The FOX 8 I-Team has learned tens of thousands of Cuyahoga County property owners have won their battles over sharp spikes in their property values. In fact, two-thirds who filed informal challenges have won.

Letters from the county were to be mailed out Monday.

Months ago, Cuyahoga County leaders created a firestorm when homeowners started getting notices saying their property values were skyrocketing, even doubling and tripling. The higher values, of course, can lead to higher taxes.

Now, more than 21,000 residential property owners are getting notices saying their property values will not go up as much as the county first estimated. Sixty-five percent of those who challenged the county won.

And the amount of dollars involved in the changes in values is astounding: more than 8 billion dollars. The total is $8, 257, 877, 513.

We surprised Henry Senyak, a neighborhood leader in Tremont, who’s been outspoken about unfair changes in property values. Senyak reacted to the folks winning appeals by saying, “It’s good news for the people that did that. I know that over 40 people in our block club alone had pushed for an informal appeal.”

Many of you have questioned how the county came up with such wildly different property values. Now, so many people winning challenges raises more questions. How did the county get so many property values wrong? Billions of dollars in changes?

Senyak said, “The high amount of two-thirds winning an informal appeal, I think that speaks volumes of why we need something changed.”

In September, County Executive Armond Budish told the I-Team the county strives to be fair. He added, “So, if we’re wrong, we’ll fix it.”

A spokesperson says seeing changes in two-thirds of the cases falls in line with past years when property values were reviewed.

Again, watch your mail this week.

But if you still need to appeal, you can go before the Board of Revision in January and contest your property value there.

Continuing coverage.