Andrew Geistfeld, Treasurer/CFO
Recently, all Franklin County homeowners received a new appraisal estimate from the county auditor. While the average increase in property values in Upper Arlington is 26 percent, that doesn’t mean homeowners will be paying 26 percent more in property taxes — or that UA Schools will be receiving 26 percent more in property tax revenue.
As you may recall, a state law known as House Bill 920 ensures that voted operating levies do not grow as property values increase. In fact, as property values increase, tax rates, on average, actually decrease for homeowners. This means the district will get about the same amount of money from a voted operating or permanent improvement levy even once the new valuations go into effect.
An exception to this is something called inside millage, a fixed amount that is legally provided for by the Ohio Constitution and is not related to tax issues approved by voters. Inside millage does grow with property values, and because of that, Upper Arlington Schools will receive an additional $2.1 million per calendar year beginning in 2024. For context, that amounts to less than 2 percent of the district’s total revenue.
To make the issue even more complicated, while the district receives about the same total amount on voted operating and permanent improvement levies, costs don’t always stay the same for individual property owners. This is due to a process known as “equalization,” which redistributes how that levy cost impacts each property. For instance, if your home value increased by more than the UA average of 26 percent, your share of the voted tax issues is likely to increase a bit. If your home value increased by less than 26 percent, your share of the voted tax issues is likely to decrease a bit.
Property taxes in Ohio are a complicated issue, and it’s natural to be concerned when you see a significant increase in your home valuation. The auditor’s office is a great resource for questions about the reappraisal. You can also reach out to my office for questions related to school tax issues.
You can learn more about school finances on our website, www.uaschools.org/treasurer.aspx. While you’re there, be sure to check out the 2022-2023 Financial Update, which is our annual financial accountability report to the community. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at [email protected].