Municipal tax levies impact your tax bill. County’s Fiscal Office does not finalize your tax bill until several weeks after local elections in November because there may have been a levy on the ballot. Before the Fiscal Office finalizes your bill, you can use the property-tax estimator on the Fiscal Office’s website. Access the property-tax estimator. To use the estimator, select your taxing district (city) and enter your property value. It will estimate your annual tax bill.
You cannot directly challenge your property-tax bill. The Fiscal Office uses four factors to determine your tax bill: millage—the tax rate your municipality uses to determine the local property taxes, special assessments, property value, and reduction credits like owner-occupancy and homestead. The Board of Revision only addresses the property-value factor of your tax bill. View the tax bill flow chart.
A “Complaint Against the Valuation of Real Property”—or valuation complaint—is the document that you file with the Board of Revision to challenge the property value as set by the Appraisal Department. Our office encourages you to use the State of Ohio’s form valuation complaint, the DTE 1.
There are several ways to file a valuation complaint:
E-file your complaint. This is the preferred method of filing. To e-file your complaint, the only things you need are a valid email address and phone number. Filing through the e-file portal is quick-- typically takes less than 10 minutes. It also bypasses notary requirement and is available 24/7 during the filing period. You will also receive a confirmation email almost immediately after you file with a PDF copy of the complaint.
You can submit your complaint by mail, email or fax. You can print a hard copy DTE 1, fill in the information, have it notarized and send it the BOR at the following:
a. Mail complaint form to:
Cuyahoga County Board of Revision
2079 East 9th Street, 2nd Floor
Cleveland, OH 44115
File your complaint in-person. The BOR is open Monday-Friday 8:30 AM -4:30 PM (except holidays). We are located at 2079 E. 9th St., Cleveland, OH 44115 on the 2nd floor. Our staff can answer questions that you have about completing the complaint, and we typically have notaries in the office.
If you mail your complaint, our office must receive it on or before March 31. We will accept mailed complaints after March 31 if the envelope has a United States Postal Service postmark of March 31 or before. We will reject complaints that we receive after March 31 if the postmark is a private meter like UPS, FedEx, DHL or Pitney Bowes.
The Opinion of Value (question 9 column A on the complaint form), is just what it sounds like; it is your opinion of the value of the parcel(s) in question. You are filing a complaint because you think the Appraisal Department incorrectly valued your property. You must enter an “opinion of value stating what you think your property is worth.
You must enter an exact number, not a range and you cannot leave the opinion of value blank. The BOR will dismiss your complaint if you do not state an opinion of value on your complaint.
Fair-market value is the price that a property would likely sell for on an open market between a willing buyer and a willing seller. For this to happen, neither the buyer nor the seller can exert any pressure on the other, and the parties’ relationship cannot influence the price. For example, a relative selling a property to another relative at a discounted price would not be fair-market value. Finally, both the buyer and the seller must have full knowledge and facts concerning the property.
Line (1) - Legal name of property owner. Line (1) - Mailing address where the certified mail will be sent. Line (2) - Complainant’s name (someone other than the owner who files a complaint on your parcel). Line (2) - Mailing address where the certified mail will be sent. Line (3) - Complainant’s Agent (owner’s representative as authorized by Ohio Revised Code 5715.19). Line (4) - Telephone number where the complainant may be reached Line (5) - Email address where the complainant may be reached. Line (6) - Complainant’s (if not the owner) relationship to the property (fill out if you completed line 2). Line (7) - Parcel Number(s) you must enter each parcel number(s) you want considered by the Board. Line (7) - Address of property is the physical address for the parcel, which may be different from the mailing address on Line 1. There is space to enter 3 contiguous parcel numbers, for more parcels use an attachment, including the property address and your opinion of value for each parcel. Each parcel must have the same legal ownership and represent a single economic unit. Line (8) - Principal use of property - what is the property being used for? House, Rental, Car Wash etc.) Line (9) Column A: Increase or decrease in valuation sought (REQUIRED) You MUST State your Opinion of Market Value for each parcel or the Complaint will be subject to dismissal. Column B: What is the current tax year’s total Market Value value listed on your tax bill or the Fiscal Officer’s website: https://myplace.cuyahogacounty.us/ Column C: Is the difference between your Market Value in column A and Market Value in column B Column D: Is the difference between your taxable value in column B and taxable value in column C. Line (10) - List reasons why you feel the Fiscal Officer’s property values are incorrect. The burden falls on you to prove your opinion of value. It is extremely beneficial to provide supporting evidence for the hearing officers to review (see evidence tab). Line (11) - Was the property sold in the last three years? If YES, fill in the other questions and submit evidence supporting the sale price. Line (12) - Was the property listed for sale in the last three years? If YES, you need to submit a copy of the listing agreement and other supporting evidence. Line (13) - Have any improvements been made in the last three years? Ex: new kitchen or bathroom, additions, etc. if YES, show the date and total cost. Line (14) - Do you intend to present the testimony or report of a professional appraiser? (You can mark YES – NO – Unknown). Line (15) - Pertains to a taxpayer who has filed more than one complaint within each 3-year appraisal cycle. Tax years 2018, 2019 and 2020 are in this current appraisal cycle. If you want to file twice within this appraisal cycle one of the four boxes must be checked. Failure to check these boxes could result in a Dismissal.
The complainant or Agent must date and sign the complaint in front of a notary; list a Title if you are an agent and have the Complaint Form notarized. If the complainant is a corporation, LLC or other entity, the signer’s relationship to the complainant must be listed near the signature, and it must be filed by a person having legal authority under general law.
Yes. The Board will determine the property’s fair-market value based on the evidence that the hearing officers review at the hearing. If the hearing officers review the evidence and determine that the Appraisal Department’s value is lower than the fair-market value, then they can increase the property value consistent with the evidence that they reviewed.
The BOR will schedule a hearing after you file your complaint. We will send you a hearing notice at least 10 days before your hearing. We will send the notice by e-mail and USPS regular mail if you provided an e-mail address to us. If you did not provide an e-mail address, our office will send the notice by USPS certified mail and regular mail.
The BOR’s goal is to hear complaints as quickly as possible. Our office can receive anywhere between 3,500-20,000+ complaints each year. Each complaint must be scheduled for a hearing, and depending on its complexity, that hearing can last anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours. This can take our office several months to hear all complaints. You may always contact the BOR or check online for status updates.
You can check your complaint status online. Enter your parcel or complaint number and hit search. Your complaint information will appear below the search bar. Once in the complaint, the status, all the parcel information and documentation are available online. You can also call our office at 216.443.7195 or e-mail us with an inquiry at email@example.com.
The person filing the complaint – or the complainant – has the burden to prove the opinion of value to the BOR. Our hearing officers base their decision about a property’s value on evidence. They will not change your property’s value if they do not have any evidence to review.
You can submit anything that you think supports your opinion of value. Your evidence can be your testimony about your property’s condition. It can also be documents. (We do not accept videos.) Some examples of documents that you might submit as evidence include the following.
Documents showing a recent, arms-length sale like a recorded deed, closing statement (HUD-1), purchase contract, or conveyance-fee statement (DTE 100).
Recent appraisal report for your property.
Certified estimates from a contractor for repairs needed at your property. Major structural issues may affect the value of the property, but regular maintenance (new roof, new driveway) is typically factored into the existing current value based on the property’s age and condition.
Dated interior/exterior photos of the property and comparable properties showing the property conditions.
New construction costs certified by a builder that include both hard and soft costs.
You can submit your evidence as soon as you file your complaint. The deadline to submit evidence is seven business days before your hearing. Our staff needs time to scan your documents, and our hearing officers need time to review the evidence before your hearing.
You must label all evidence with the parcel number so that our office matches it with the correct property. Every document that you submit to our office becomes public record. You must remove all personal identifying information from documents before you submit them to us. This includes Social Security Numbers, birth dates, and account numbers.
No, you do not have to attend your hearing, but you are strongly encouraged you to attend. The hearing is your opportunity to testify about why you believe the Appraisal Department incorrectly valued your property. Many times, the hearing officers have questions regarding your property that only you can answer. Learn more about what to expect during your hearing.
You can ask our office to reschedule your hearing. You must submit a written request at least 12 business days before your hearing date. We prefer that you send your request by e-mail to BORinfo@cuyahogacounty.us.
Your request must include the reason that you are asking to reschedule your hearing and alternative dates when you are available. We will notify you whether we grant your request or not.
A counter-complaint is a complaint that is filed to challenge an existing valuation complaint.
If a property owner is seeking a change in value of $50,000 or more, the local school district can file a counter-complaint. If the school district thinks the property value should stay at the County assessed value or should be increased, the district can file a counter-complaint with their own opinion of value. Just like with an original filing, the school district must present evidence to justify its opinion of value.
In most cases, you will not need to file a counter complaint for residential property. For many years, school districts and other taxing districts could file original complaints seeking to increase property values—often based on a recent sale price. But Ohio law changed in 2022 so that school districts cannot file original valuation complaints unless the change in value is at least $500,000. These properties are usually commercial properties where the property owner hired a lawyer to file a counter complaint.
The Board of Revision holds decisions for 35 days to allow all parties time to appeal. After 35 days, we send the decision to the Real Property Department for processing.
The County Treasurer typically applies overpayments related to a decreased value as a credit on the next tax bill rather than issuing a refund check. If you have questions about this process, you can call the Real Property Department 216.698.2592 or 216.698.3161.
Yes, you can appeal your decision to the Board of Tax Appeals or Court of Common Pleas (depending on complaint type). You have 30 days from the date on the decision notice to appeal. If you file an appeal, the BOR’s decision will not go into effect until all appeals have been exhausted.
Contact information for the Board of Tax Appeals and/or the Court of Common Pleas are provided on your decision letter as a courtesy. You can reach out the appropriate agency for further guidance. You may also refer to the Appealing a Decision page for basic overview instructions. If you have any additional questions, contact an attorney.
You have the option to pay estimated taxes on what you believe your parcel is worth—your opinion of value. You must complete the Application for Payment on Estimated Taxes and send it to the Real Property Department. They will generate a tax bill with the amount that you owe based on your opinion of value.
This option carries risk. If you are seeking a reduction in value and you pay less than the amount you owe on the current value, your tax bill will be delinquent. The Treasurer will assess penalties on the delinquent amount. If the Board of Revision reduces your property’s value to your opinion of value—and there is a corresponding reduction in your tax bill—the Treasurer will remove the penalty from your tax bill. But if the Board of Revision does not reduce your value at all—or does not reduce the value as much as you requested—you will owe the amount that you failed to pay plus a 10% penalty on that amount.
If you have questions about your tax payments or tax bill, you can contact the Treasurer’s Office at 216.443.7420.
Although most of the complaints the BOR hears are valuation complaints, there are several other complaints and appeals that our office handles.
Complaint Against the Valuation of Manufactured or Mobile Home Taxed like Real Property
If you own a manufactured or mobile home that is taxed like real property, you can file a valuation complaint just like you would for real property. The main difference between these types of complaints is the tax year. Real property is taxed a year in arrears. For example, calendar year 2023 is tax year 2022. Manufactured homes are taxed in the same calendar year, so calendar year 2023 is tax year 2023.
The filing period for these complaints is January 1 through March 31 each year.
Complaint Against the Assessment of Real Property Other Than Market Value
We do not see many of these complaints in Cuyahoga County because they mostly apply to agricultural land. But if you feel that your property was misclassified under any of the sections listed on the complaint, or if you feel that you should be receiving a tax credit for being an in-home childcare center, you can complete this complaint. The filing period is January 1 through March 31 each year.
Homestead Exemption or Owner Occupancy Reduction Complaint
If you applied for the Homestead Exemption or the Owner Occupancy Reduction credit and the Fiscal Office denied your application, you can appeal that decision to our office. You must file your appeal within 60 days after the date on the Fiscal Office’s denial letter. For example, if the denial letter is dated August 1, you have until September 30—60 days from August 1—to file your appeal to the BOR.
If you are contesting the denial of a homestead reduction for a manufactured home, you must file your appeal with the BOR no later than January 31 of the year after the Fiscal Office denied your application. For example, if you received your denial letter for the homestead credit on August 1, 2022, the deadline to appeal will be January 31, 2023.
Remission of Penalty Applications (ROP’s)
The Treasury imposes a penalty if you pay your property tax after the due date. Once you have paid the late tax, you may be eligible to have County waive—or “remit”—the penalty.
You can file an ROP application DTE Form 23A with the Treasury asking to have the penalty remitted.
The application has boxes for the various reasons why you might have paid the tax late. It also has space for you to explain your “reasonable cause” for paying late.
The Treasury first decides whether to grant or deny your application. The application then goes to the Fiscal Office to make its decision.
If the Treasury and Fiscal Office agree to grant the ROP application—and you did not check the “reasonable cause” box—then the Fiscal Office will send a decision letter granting the remission of penalty.
If either the Treasury or the Fiscal Office denies your ROP application—or if you check the “reasonable cause” box—then the Board of Revision will review your application. Our office does not schedule ROP applications for hearing; they are administratively reviewed.
The BOR will send out a letter either granting or denying the ROP application. The BOR’s decision is final and will not reconsider anything after the decision is issued.
If you disagree with the BOR, you can appeal the decision to the Board of Tax Appeals. You have 30 days from the date on the decision letter to appeal. We include the Board of Tax Appeal’s contact information on the decision letter.
Expedited Tax Foreclosures
Under certain circumstances, the County Prosecutor files tax foreclosures with the Board of Revision rather than in court. For cases where the BOR grants the foreclosure, the property may be sold at sheriff sale or directly transferred to a municipal or county landbank. If County has filed a foreclosure against you for unpaid property taxes—whether in court or with the BOR—you can call 216.443.7797 for more information.