I-Team: How did county get so many tax values wrong?

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The FOX 8 I-Team went to the Cuyahoga County chief financial officer asking how the county got tens of thousands of property values wrong.

Monday, the I-Team revealed letters just went out to property owners telling them whether they won or lost informal challenges to changes in their property values. Many have complained their values have doubled or tripled, and that could lead to higher taxes.

And we found 2/3 of the homeowners appealing had their proposed property values lowered by the county.

We asked Dennis Kennedy how the county could be so far off. He said, “We're constantly looking at the process and seeing what we can do better."

We also wondered why not change the system so that people don’t have to file so many challenges? Kennedy answered, "I don't think we'll ever be able to do that since we're only looking at the outside of the properties. There's no way to determine what's going on inside of the house."

Homeowners in Tremont are among those complaining the most. Consider again, two out of three property owners convinced the county their property values were set too high. But the county found property values set too low only in a tiny number of cases.

The county has said it strives to be fair. And, what happened this time is not unusual when the county looks at adjusting property values. So again, all of this made us wonder: Can’t the system be made better?

Dennis Kennedy said the county is looking at ways to improve how it handles this. He said, "Aerial shots. We can do a lot more in-depth analysis in our office. We need to integrate out software to be able to do more with the information that's already out there."

If you get a letter saying you did not win your initial appeal, you have another chance to fight. You can file a formal appeal with the County’s Board of Revision in January.

Continuing coverage.

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