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  • Jack Warnecke

New House Bill 126 would prevent school districts in the State of Ohio from filing property tax complaints to the Board of Revision on all property types beginning in 2022 pay 2023. The bill has been sent to the Governor for approval. The complete bill is below in PDF format

  • Ryan Gibbs

A number of prominent U.S. "brick and mortar" retailers have recently filed for bankruptcy. These include department store giant J.C. Penney and specialty retailers JCrew, Neiman Marcus, Lord & Taylor and Brooks Brothers. This article by Forbes suggests many other national brands are hanging by a thread as 2020 drags on, and the amount of retail closures could rival the post-Great Recession period. While the COVID-19 pandemic is an added stress factor, these trends predate 2020. Other real estate sectors have rebounded post-recession, but retail, and especially regional shopping malls, have continued to decline in value. Most department store chains are closing stores, seeking bankruptcy protection, or both. Empty anchor store spaces are a major drag on foot traffic at malls. Vacating anchors can create a ripple effect where inline tenants demand lower rents or seek to move to rent based on a percentage of sales only.

The continuing downward trend has major implications for tax assessments of malls and shopping centers. If you feel like your retail property is not being fairly assessed, please do not hesitate to contact The Gibbs Firm.

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  • Ryan Gibbs

Ryan Gibbs and The Gibbs Firm, LPA wish to highlight “Property Rights Brought to Light: Principles and Misconceptions” by Gary E. Heiland, MAI, AI-GRS, published in the Summer 2019 issue of The Appraisal Journal. The concept of property rights and how it applies to ad valorem taxation is a subject of constant debate. Taxing authorities, and others opposing taxpayers in assessment appeals, regularly misconstrue and misapply appraisal definitions related to property rights. Mr. Heiland’s article discusses the differences between “real estate” and “real property,” two terms that are often conflated and misunderstood. Mr. Heiland also explains the difference between the “fee simple” and “leased fee” estates, and how property rights transferred at the time of sale affect valuation.

Taxpayers seeking fair and equitable assessments will be confronted by assessors, boards of education, and other taxing authorities seeking to twist the language of well-established appraisal definitions to establish excessive assessment values. Now more than ever, taxpayers need competent and knowledgeable counsel against these theories and tactics. The Gibbs Firm strives to stay on the forefront of the issues affecting ad valorem assessment and continues to work with knowledgeable appraisers such as Mr. Heiland.

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