I-Team: New reason for outrage over spike in property tax values

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CUYAHOGA COUNTY, Ohio -- The FOX 8 I-Team has found one piece of paper is giving new reason for local property owners to be outraged over changes in their property values, changes that could lead to steep tax increases.

When one homeowner asked for the “files” and “data” used to reevaluate his property, he showed us Cuyahoga County sent him one piece of paper with only a little about his property printed out and some handwritten notes.

Many Cuyahoga County taxpayers have been screaming since they got notices in the mail showing property values doubling and tripling and more. Yet, other properties in the same neighborhoods have remained virtually unchanged.

One homeowner showed us an email he sent to the county after seeing his property value soar. When he asked for documents used to evaluate his property, he didn’t get back a notebook or file. He got that one piece of paper.

Last week, the I-Team checked property tax values for the Cuyahoga County executive and county council members. We found those values dropped or went up slightly. None rose more than 22%.

In the Detroit-Shoreway neighborhood on Tuesday, we found two properties belonging to Cleveland City Councilman Matt Zone. Records show one home value changed only .001%, but the other just steps away jumped 26%. That’s the same kind of unevenness activists have found researching their own neighborhoods.

Zone said, “The discrepancies in valuations is alarming.” He now finds himself asking the same questions as you. Zone added, “Where’s the factual data? I know that many people are going to be filing appeals to these. And we want to see hard data.”

The county has said it came up with the new tax values by having appraisers look at the outside of properties and also at neighborhood sales.

Records like the one page of handwritten notes leave taxpayers demanding to know more.

Taxpayers can go to events daily to ask questions of county officials, and they can appeal.

Many individual property owners plan to appeal. Some neighborhood groups are talking about taking action as a group as well.

Read more, here.

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