Newly-released numbers show residential property values jumping an average of 6.4 percent in Oberlin starting Jan. 1, though that’s below the 8.85 percent mean for homes countywide.
The increases were announced July 24 by Lorain County auditor Craig Snodgrass, who said valuations will rise by an average rate of 11.6 percent across all the county.
“The economy is looking better in 2018 than it was in 2012,” he said. “Investments are growing and people want to live here. There’s growth in all areas. Each area, commercial, residential, industrial, and agricultural has a bit of a different story. Residential is pretty straightforward.”
Commercial valuations are set to rise 19.6 percent in Oberlin, just above the county’s 18.2 percent average.
Agricultural and industrial values will go up by 11.8 and 28.3 percent compared to the county’s respective 35.35 and 17.4 percent average jumps.
New Russia Township will see residential values rise by an average of 13.3 percent, agricultural by 14.9 percent, industrial by 18.5 percent, and commercial by 12.9 percent.
Pittsfield Township’s industrial property values will not change but residential (8.7 percent), agricultural (40.3 percent), and commercial (18.6 percent) parcels will take a leap.
Snodgrass said around 90 percent of Lorain County’s agricultural properties fall under the Current Agricultural Use Value program. State law allows farm owners to have their land taxed according to its agricultural value instead of its full market value.
It’s important to understand that valuation changes do not necessarily equate to an equal jump in property taxes.
If you want information on changes for your own property, visit www.loraincounty.com/auditor.
Property reevaluations started in 2015 and included more than a year of field work.
County properties are reappraised every six years and each parcel is physically evaluated.
Homes in most Oberlin neighborhoods are in line for a five to 10 percent value increase. Some properties in the city’s central area along Lincoln, Groveland, and South Pleasant streets have been tabbed for zero to five percent jumps.
Along Morgan Street and for some homes on or just off of South Prospect Street, values are expected to climb by 10 to 20 percent.
Owners from Oberlin and surrounding townships will have the chance to discuss their valuations with appraisers Aug. 27-30 at the New Russia Township Lodge, 46300 Butternut Ridge Rd. The meetings will from from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 17 and from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. the final three days.
Nearly 1,200 15-minute sessions are available by appointment as well as 72 daily walk-in spots.
Snodgrass said property owners can expect to receive notifications for the hearings by mail two weeks before they’re held.
Appeals can be filed with the county board of revision through April 2.
The auditor said he expects to see property value jumps level off at some point but not a repeat of the free-fall seen after the 2008 financial crisis.
In 2000, county property values rose by an average of 15.38 percent and jumped by 12.19 percent in 2006. In 2012, during the recession, valuations fell by 7.90 percent.
“There will be fallback at some point,” Snodgrass said. “Will it be as bad as what we experienced in 2009 and 2010? Most likely not. We’ve had steady growth. But again, everything is cyclical. Right now, every indication we have here in 2018 is just booming.”
While property owners will see at least a small hit to their pocketbooks, the Oberlin and Firelands school systems are likely to see a sizeable cash windfall.
A January press conference will reveal changes in county property taxes that stem from the rise in valuations, Snodgrass said.
Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-775-1611 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.