Agricultural property valuations will jump by an average of 62.2 percent in Wellington village starting Jan. 1, according to newly released numbers from Lorain County auditor Craig Snodgrass.
The increase was announced during a July 24 press conference that revealed valuations for residential, agricultural, commercial, and industrial properties will rise by an average rate of 11.6 percent across all the county.
Wellington’s agricultural increase is the largest among county villages, trailed by Rochester’s 45.1 percent and Kipton’s 30.3 percent jumps. It is also well above the county’s 35.35 percent average agricultural increase.
“The economy is looking better in 2018 than it was in 2012,” Snodgrass said. “Investments are growing and people want to live here. There’s growth in all areas. Each area, commercial, residential, industrial, and agricultural has a bit of a different story. Residential is pretty straightforward.”
Residential values in Wellington village are set to increase by 9.5 percent, just above the county’s 8.85 percent average. A 5.2 percent increase for industrial properties is far below the county’s 17.4 percent rise. Commercial parcels will go up 21.4 percent in value, which is above the county’s 18.2 percent average rate.
Snodgrass said around 90 percent of Lorain County’s agricultural properties fall under the Current Agricultural Use Value program. State law allows farm owners to have their land taxed according to its agricultural value instead of its full market value.
It’s important to understand that valuation changes do not necessarily equate to an equal jump in property taxes.
If you want information on changes for your own property, visit www.loraincounty.com/auditor.
Property reevaluations started in 2015 and included more than a year of field work.
County properties are reappraised every six years and each parcel is physically evaluated.
A map provided by Snodgrass shows an average valuation increase of more than 20 percent in the village north of Rt. 18, mostly due to a high concentration of commercial and industrial parcels. Most properties in the village south of Rt. 18 are in line for zero to five percent jumps.
Parcels along Sheila Drive as well as Jones and Wenner Streets are slated for 10 to 20 percent increases. South of Rt. 18, the Parkside Reserve Street and Greenview Court area is tabbed for an identical leap.
Owners from Wellington and surrounding townships will have the chance to discuss their valuations with appraisers Aug. 27-30 during an informal hearing at the New Russia Township Lodge, 46300 Butternut Ridge Rd. The meetings will run from from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 17 and from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. the final three days.
Nearly 1,200 15-minute sessions are available by appointment as well as 72 daily walk-in spots.
Snodgrass said property owners can expect to receive notifications for the hearings by mail two weeks before they’re held.
Appeals can be filed with the county board of revision through April 2.
The auditor said he expects to see property value jumps level off at some point but not a repeat of the free-fall seen after the 2008 financial crisis.
In 2000, county property values rose by an average of 15.38 percent and jumped by 12.19 percent in 2006. In 2012, during the recession, valuations fell by 7.90 percent.
“There will be fallback at some point,” Snodgrass said. “Will it be as bad as what we experienced in 2009 and 2010? Most likely not. We’ve had steady growth. But again, everything is cyclical. Right now, every indication we have here in 2018 is just booming.”
While property owners will see at least a small hit to their pocketbooks, the Wellington Schools expect to a $50,000 cash windfall after the increases go into effect.
A January press conference will reveal changes in county property taxes that stem from the rise in valuations, Snodgrass said.
Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-775-1611 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.