DEBRA J. NYE

Muskingum County Auditor | Muskingum County, Ohio

How does property value impact my property taxes?

Your property value plays an important role in determining your property taxes. Your property taxes are calculated by applying your tax district’s tax rate to your property’s assessed value and accounting for any tax credits or incentives to which you are entitled such as the Homestead Credit, Owner Occupancy Credit, etc. As such, a change in your property value, tax rate, and/or tax credit or incentive status could impact your property taxes.

The role of my office in this process is to appraise property values for the purpose of tax assessment and to administer the incentives referenced above. The county appraisers do not lower or raise property values to lower or raise property taxes. Rather, the goal is to establish fair and accurate values based on property characteristics, real estate market activity, and other relevant factors.

When it comes to increasing or decreasing property taxes, the voters have the power to approve or disapprove property tax levies placed on the ballot. This means that a levy approved by the voters authorizes a specific increase in the overall tax revenue collected within the voters’ tax district. Both the voter-approved levies and the total valuation of property within each tax district are then used by the Ohio Department of Taxation to calculate the tax rates throughout Muskingum County.

What are the tax credits/incentives I could be eligible for?

The Owner Occupancy Credit is available to all residents who both own and occupy their home as their primary residence. This credit is equal to a 2.5% reduction on qualifying tax levies. For more information about the Owner Occupancy program and to access the various forms associated with it, please visit the Owner Occupancy webpage here.

The standard Homestead Exemption is a property tax credit designed for lower income older adults and those who are permanently and totally disabled. To qualify, an individual must be age 65 or older as of December 31 of the year for which they apply or be totally and permanently disabled as of January 1 of the year for which they apply. The individual must also reside in their home as their primary residence as of January 1 of the year for which they apply and earn below a specified income limit. The maximum allowable income changes each year based on inflation and approved applicants will receive a property tax reduction equal to the taxes owed toward $26,200 of their property’s appraised value.

An enhanced Homestead Exemption is also available for military veterans who are 100% disabled or are receiving 100% compensation for service-connected injuries as well as surviving spouses of public service officers killed in the line of duty. There are no income requirements with the enhanced Homestead Exemption and approved applicants will receive a property tax reduction equal to the taxes owed toward $52,300 of their property’s appraised value. For more information about the Homestead program and to access the various forms associated with it, please visit the Homestead webpage here.

The Current Agricultural Use Valuation (CAUV) program is intended to save open space and protect the farmer from paying higher taxes due to urban sprawl. Taxes for properties enrolled in the CAUV program are calculated based upon soil rates as opposed to market value. There must be ten acres or more of land that has been devoted exclusively to commercial agricultural use for the previous three years to be eligible for CAUV. A smaller tract may be eligible if the tract either produced an average gross income of $2,500 or more from sales of agricultural products during the previous three years or if the expected gross income meets or exceeds $2,500. Land may lay idle for one year before being subject to recoupment. For more information about the CAUV program and to access the various forms associated with it, please visit the CAUV webpage here.

What impact will a new levy have on my real estate taxes?

There are multiple types of levies that impact real estate taxes in different ways.

  • Renewal Levy – extends the term and purpose of an expiring levy while considering original property valuations at the time of passage. There are no changes to taxes when a renewal levy is passed.
  • Renewal with an Increase Levy – extends the term and purpose of an expiring levy while considering property valuations at the time of passage with additional millage that does not consider the original property valuations. There are no changes to taxes for the renewal portion but there is an increase for the additional millage.
  • Renewal with a Decrease Levy – extends the term and purpose of an expiring levy while considering property valuations at the time of passage but decreases the amount of millage of the levy. There will be a decrease in property taxes when a renewal with a decrease levy is passed.
  • Replacement Levy – extends the term and conditions of an expiring levy but takes present-day property valuation into consideration. If passed at identical mills, a replacement levy will typically increase tax if the value of the property has risen since the original passage of the levy.
  • Additional Levy – a new levy that generates additional revenue. This will increase real estate taxes.

Please note that levies are voter approved, meaning you, as the voter, has the power to approve or deny the levy. For more information on property tax definitions, please review the levy and property definitions here.

How does the Auditor’s Office protect my property from “title theft”?

Your Muskingum County Auditor’s office takes the safety and security of the residents and businesses of Muskingum County very seriously and is committed to mitigating and remedying any instances of fraudulent activity.

With regard to transfers of property ownership, the office requires that all deeds and other relevant documents be notarized by a notary public registered with the Office of the Ohio Secretary of State. This notarization process is designed to safeguard against the activities of fraudulent actors and reduce the frequency of inaccurate information appearing on documents such as property deeds.

The office also maintains the county’s most comprehensive source of real estate data, including property ownership information, which can be used to verify the owner(s) of any property by performing a search for it through the office’s online Property Search tool.

If you suspect that the ownership of your property may have been impacted by fraudulent activity, please report the issue to the Auditor’s office by calling (740) 455-7109, option 1. The office will use this information to investigate your property record and, if appropriate, coordinate with the proper authorities to remedy any instance of fraudulent activity.

I am receiving unwanted phone calls from people inquiring about my property. Is my phone number listed on the Auditor’s website?

I understand the concern caused by receiving unwanted inquiries related to your property. Please be assured that the Auditor’s Office does not publicly list the phone numbers of property owners.

However, there are many ways that people may find your phone number through various websites and online search services. If helpful, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission maintains a free National Do Not Call Registry that may help you reduce the number of telemarketing calls you receive. To register your phone number with the Do Not Call Registry, please visit www.donotcall.gov or call 1-888-382-1222.

I think the Auditor appraised valuation of my property is incorrect. What can I do?

If you feel that the Auditor’s appraised value of your property does not accurately reflect its true value, you may dispute the valuation by filing a complaint with the Muskingum County Board of Revision (BOR). The BOR is comprised of the county auditor, the county treasurer, and one of the county commissioners or their representatives. Filing a complaint allows property owners to share what they feel the proper value should be. Through the BOR process, you may present information such as recent appraisals or current sales data for similar properties in your neighborhood to support your complaint.

Complaints can be filed with the BOR between January 1 and March 31. For additional information about the Board of Revision, please visit the BOR webpage here.

You changed the Auditor appraised value of my property – why?

The Ohio Revised Code requires the county auditor to determine the taxable value of real property. As part of this duty, and to maintain accurate and up-to-date real estate records, you will see regular changes to your property’s appraised value. There are several reasons why the Auditor’s Office may have updated your appraised property value, including:

  • Sexennial reappraisal – Ohio law requires a full reappraisal of the value of each parcel in the county once every six years. Muskingum County is undergoing a sexennial reappraisal for the 2024 tax year, or the taxes paid in 2025.
  • Triennial update – On the third year of the six-year cycle referenced above, Ohio law requires the Auditor’s Office to perform a countywide update of appraised property values based on real estate market trends.
  • Construction – Your value may be adjusted due to started or completed construction on your property as determined by permits issued to you by your locality.
  • Correcting inaccurate property data – The Auditor’s Office continuously reviews property data for accuracy and your assessed value may be impacted by the updating of inaccurate or out-of-date data associated with your property. (E.g., incorrect square footage, bathroom count, bedroom count, etc.) If you suspect that your property’s data is inaccurate, please notify my office by calling (740) 455-7109, option 1.
  • Board of Revision (BOR) decision – A BOR decision may result in a change in your property’s appraised value.
  • Damaged or destroyed property – Damage to or destruction of your property will likely result in a change in value. If your property has been damaged or destroyed, please notify my office by submitting an Application for Valuation Deduction for Destroyed or Damaged Real Property (DTE 26).

How can I update the tax bill mailing address on my property?

The Muskingum County Treasurer’s Office is responsible for issuing property tax bills and collecting property tax payments. You may submit a request to update your tax bill mailing address directly to the Treasurer’s Office at treasurer@muskingumcounty.org.