Brian Massie, Citizen Journalist
We received the following form from the Lake County Auditor’s office. Every three years the Auditor’s office is required to revalue all property in the County. They just finished the Triennial Revaluation and the overall increase in residential property values increased 17%. Now that is done, they must start working on the Sexennial Revaluation because it takes 2 years to complete
The form sparked our curiosity, so I sent the following email to Auditor Chris Galloway.
We received the Auditor’s form asking for us to update your records on our home.
The form states: “One is a Sexennial Revaluation (once every six years) at which time all property is Personally Visited and information and values are verified.”
Are we correct in stating that if the taxpayer completes the form that was sent to them that there will not be a County Appraiser knocking on their door to gain access to their house.? [As you can well imagine, we are adverse to government officials knocking on our door.]
Are we correct in stating that the taxpayers in the Kirtland, Willoughby-Eastlake, and Perry School Districts will see automatic increases in their property taxes, assuming there is the likely increase in property values again, because those school districts have reached the 20 mil floor, and their outside millage will be treated like inside millage. This results in property tax increases without a vote of the people.
Thank you for the clarification.
Here are Auditor Chris Galloway’s responses to our questions:
Regarding the questionnaire about your home:
“We do not ask for access into someone’s home. Completing the form allows us to make sure we have accurate information on the property card. For example, our records indicate four bedrooms but you only have three. Or we have you down as 1.5 baths and you have 2.5 baths. Any visit to a property by our appraisers would involve external review. Happy to report that as we have been sending the letters out district-by-district starting in Madison and working our way West, we have had very good participation. Over 70% so far.” [Emphasis added by LFC]
Regarding the three school districts at the 20 mil levy:
“You are correct on those three districts. Currently W-E schools is at 20.000023, Kirtland SD is at 20.000027 and Perry SD is at 20.000004. Regarding an increase, yes, that is probable. We don’t know what that would be as of yet because the state calculates the reduction factors.”
Auditor Chris Galloway
We would like to make EVERYONE in Lake County to be keenly aware of possible scams, especially on unsuspecting seniors. If anyone says that they are from the Auditor’s office and want to see the inside of your home to make an assessment of your home for possible improvements, DO NOT LET THEM IN YOUR HOME. CALL YOUR LOCAL POLICE DEPARTMENT FOR HELP!
For the citizens in the Willoughby-Eastlake, Kirtland, and Perry School Districts, please be aware that you will be seeing automatic property tax increase because those school districts have hit the “20 mil floor”, and HB 920 will no longer reduce the outside millage levies. The outside millage will be treated as inside millage and additional taxes will be collected when your property increases in value because of inflation or market supply and demand. You will pay higher taxes without your vote on any increase.
When voting for ANY future tax levies, be they new or renewal, you must be keenly aware of your Housing Affordability Threshold %. If your mortgage, taxes and utilities equal 30% of your annual income, then you are at the HAT threshold. Your house is deemed unaffordable for you. You may not have to move, but you will have less money for your other “needs and wants”.