ELYRIA — Property tax rates throughout Lorain County generally crept a little higher this year even as property values declined, but in places where voters approved new levies the increase was larger, county Auditor Mark Stewart said Tuesday.
Stewart said property values lowered by the Board of Revisions when owners protested their values or because of lot splits or demolitions led to values shrinking. As the values of some properties shrank, other property owners will have to pay more in order for tax levies for schools, ambulance districts and other entities to continue to collect the same amount of money.
“The lower the valuation, the voted rate has to go up a little bit to collect the same amount of money,” Stewart said.
For instance, the value of Stewart’s Elyria home, which is in the territory of Elyria Schools, remained the same from last year into this year at $187,200, but the amount of taxes he’ll pay increased.
Last year, Stewart said, he paid $3,421.12 in property taxes, but this year he’ll pay $3,438.14.
The tax rates vary depending on what levies are in effect in each of the county’s 70 tax districts. And one person in a city might pay one rate, but someone across town in a different school district would pay a different rate based on what levies are being collected.
The highest increases this year came in communities where new levies were put in place.
Oberlin residents will see the biggest increase in their rates, which will jump $153.98 per year for the owner of a home valued at $100,000, because voters in the city approved levies for Oberlin Schools, the Oberlin Public Library and the city itself.
The increase in Oberlin would have been even higher, but a levy for the Central Lorain County Ambulance District expired. The expiration also affected several townships surrounding Oberlin. Pittsfield Township property owners actually will see their tax rates drop by $28.57 for the owner of a $100,000 house because the ambulance district levy expired.
North Ridgeville property owners also will see their property rates drop slightly because new construction in that community meant that property values on some property increased, lowering the tax rate for everyone. The owner of a $100,000 home in North Ridgeville will see their property tax bill decrease by $5.25.
“If the value goes up, it helps the rate go down,” Stewart said.
Stewart said that but for a levy for the Avon Lake Public Library, tax rates in that city would have fallen as well. In Avon, a tax increment financing deal to fund construction of the new Interstate 90 interchange also stopped the city’s residents from seeing their tax bills drop, Stewart said.
Other significant property tax increases will be felt in the Columbia, Firelands, Sheffield-Sheffield Lake and Wellington school districts, all of which saw the passage of new tax levies last year.
Sheffield Township property owners will see their tax bills for a home valued at $100,000 increase by $83.50 because of a new EMS levy and property valuation declines.
Stewart also warned property owners throughout the county to brace for their property values to decline again next year following the completion of the required revaluation of every parcel of land in the county, something done every three years. Full appraisals, such as the one that will take place this year for next year’s tax bills, are completed every six years.
This year’s property tax bills are expected to be mailed out in the coming days and are due back Feb. 17.
Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or firstname.lastname@example.org.