The Gambier Village Council met on March 1, largely focusing its discussion on increased property values and taxes following the 2020 mass reappraisal of all properties in Knox County, which happens every six years.
Knox County Auditor Jonette Curry joined the meeting to answer questions regarding the property tax adjustments resulting from the reappraisal. Summarizing the report, Curry noted that in the last three years and into this year, home sales in Gambier are exceeding expected market value, leading to a 20% increase in property value within the county.
Some Gambier residents expressed concern regarding the increase and its apparent inconsistency. Councilmember Betsy Heer, for instance, mentioned confusion among neighbors whose property values and taxes increased at different rates.
“[A] particular resident’s property value increased by 91%, with no additions or improvements, while others in the neighborhood were in a complete range from 24 to 50% to 75%,” she said. “Values throughout the Village seem random. Why is that?”
Curry clarified that not every property’s value increased by the same amount because properties are evaluated according to taxing districts, organized by township. In addition, she noted that there are a multitude of other factors that go into determining a property’s value, including the land on which it sits.
According to Curry, the auditor’s office contracts a reappraisal company to conduct the appraisal process. “When we’re doing a reappraisal, that appraisal company is actually physically looking at the parcels [of land], and then we have to actually look at sales within that area,” she said. The company uses a chart with a set of standards to determine the base rate of the property based on the land and the type of house. Following property appraisal, the company conducts a sales analysis and sends the information to the state, which uses the information to determine a property’s market value according to its taxing district.
Curry also mentioned that taxpayers have a right to file a complaint of real estate value — a claim that the appraised value is not appropriate or accurate — once every three years. The complaint then goes to the board for revision, and if they concur then the value can be adjusted; the value discrepancy is credited to the second half of the tax bill for the year.
The Council also discussed the drop in the College’s COVID-19 positivity rate and the decrease in hospitalizations in Ohio, noting that Knox County Health Commissioner Julie Miller was optimistic about the state of Knox County. Miller has also reported that the COVID-19 variants are not present in Knox County.
The Council will meet again on April 5. Those interested in attending can find the meeting link on the Village website.