Homeowners fuming after property reappraisals more than double in Cuyahoga County

Homeowners fuming after property reappraisals more than double in Cuyahoga County

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Some homeowners in Cuyahoga County are in shock after property re-appraisals more than doubled their home values.

If they're not looking to sell, that's not necessarily a good thing.

It could cost homeowners thousands of dollars in taxes and even force them to move.

There is a lot of money on the line for some homeowners.

In the Edgewater neighborhood in Cleveland, we talked to a man whose home value went up more than $200,000.

He's on a fixed income and he says paying higher taxes would force him out.

79-year-old John Sepesy calls the Edgewater neighborhood in Cleveland home.

"I bought the house in 1972 for $27,000," he said.

John asked us not to show his house for privacy concerns.

But he says it's modest, compared to many other homes on the street.

Houses in this neighborhood range from the upper $100,000 to $500,000s and some approach a million dollars or more.

This year's reappraisal from the county on John's house has him floored.

"You open it, and you're stunned and confused because you don't know what you're gonna do, and then you get really angry," Sepesy said.

His home value went up from $186,300 to $418,200.

"If I can't do anything about this, I have to move," he said.

John raised his three kids here.

His house is full of 46 years of memories-- hopefully with years more to come.

"So apparently the county needs money and they figure our neighborhood was a great place to get it," he said.

John is going to fight his re-appraisal.

He isn't the only one shocked to see his property values skyrocket.

His neighbors have seen increases of over $100,000.

They worry that could drive people out of the neighborhood.

John's neighbor Bob Sherman says the county told them to expect 10 to 12 percent increases in their property value.

"What I wasn't ready for was the 40 percent that I got. And I really think that it's a money grab at this point and time. Doesn't seem to be a rhyme or reason for some of these assessments," Sherman said.

Cuyahoga County does property re-evaluations every six years and they do not enter the home.

The county says it hired independent officers to verify its standards.

But that's not a reassurance for people in this historic neighborhood.

"Is it going to force us to move? I'm getting close to thinking about it as I get closer to retirement," Sherman said.

Cuyahoga County says values were established by using statistics from January 1, 2016 to May 31, 2017.

They were also established by looking at "like homes" in the same neighborhood.

Each property was reviewed in person.

You can appeal the county's assessment.

There are two ways:

If you bought your home in the last three years, you can submit the purchase contract.

Or, if you had an appraisal done in the last 12 months, you can use that too.

But you have to act fast, since the deadline is August 31.

After that, the county uses a more formal process in home value appeals.

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