Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Schutz v. Cuyahoga County Board of Revision

Supreme Court of Ohio

April 25, 2018

Schutz, Appellant,
v.
Cuyahoga County Board of Revision et al., Appellees.

          Submitted January 23, 2018

          Appeal from the Board of Tax Appeals, No. 2013-6566.

          J. Alex Morton, for appellant.

          Timothy J. McGinty, Cuyahoga County Prosecuting Attorney, and Mark R. Greenfield, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, for appellees Cuyahoga County Board of Revision and Cuyahoga County Fiscal Officer.

          Per Curiam.

         {¶ 1} This case involves residential property located on Berkeley Road in Cleveland Heights and owned by appellant, Alex Schutz. He challenged the tax-year-2012 valuation of the property by appellee Cuyahoga County fiscal officer. Appellee Cuyahoga County Board of Revision ("BOR") rejected his claim, retaining the fiscal officer's valuation, and the Board of Tax Appeals ("BTA") affirmed. In his appeal here, Schutz contends that the BTA misplaced the burden of proof and did not give proper consideration to the evidence he presented in support of his claim. We affirm the BTA's decision.

         Facts and Procedural History

         {¶ 2} For tax year 2012, a reappraisal year in Cuyahoga County, the fiscal officer valued the subject property at $104, 100. In his valuation complaint, Schutz asked the BOR to decrease the valuation to $40, 000.

         {¶ 3} At the BOR hearing, Schutz presented evidence showing that he had purchased the property from a bank in January 2009 for $14, 300. He testified that the property had been the subject of multiple housing-code violations and was in "fair" condition on the January 1, 2012 tax-lien date. He said that his requested valuation of $40, 000 represented the sum of the purchase price and the cost of the improvements he had made to the property as of the tax-lien date. To further support his claim, Schutz presented evidence showing that, in 2010, a bank denied his request for a loan in the amount of $56, 000. Among other reasons for the denial, the bank stated that Schutz lacked sufficient equity in the property. Schutz also testified that he had unsuccessfully listed the property for sale, with an asking price around $70, 000. The BOR retained the fiscal officer's valuation, and Schutz appealed to the BTA.

         {¶ 4} At the BTA, Schutz presented evidence showing that he and the fiscal officer had stipulated to a value of $14, 300 for tax years 2009 and 2010. He also presented lists of purported sale prices of other properties in the neighborhood since January 2009. One document states that "[t]he median sale price of homes on Berkeley Rd. west of Taylor Rd. since 2009 is $33, 500." Schutz did not explain what sources he used to create these documents, and he did not make adjustments to relate the purported sale prices to the subject property. For their part, the fiscal officer and the BOR (collectively, "the county") did not present any evidence in support of the $104, 100 valuation.

         {¶ 5} The BTA rejected Schutz's claim, finding that his January 2009 purchase of the property was not a reliable indicator of value because it was "too remote" from the January 2012 tax-lien date. BTA No. 2013-6566, 2015 WL 402106, *2 (Jan. 20, 2015). The BTA concluded, "In the absence of [a] qualifying sale[], * * * [Schutz] was required, but failed, to provide [a] competent appraisal[] of the parcel[], attested to by a qualified expert, for the tax lien date in issue. As such, we are constrained to conclude that [Schutz] has failed to satisfy his evidentiary burden * * *." Id. The BTA did not address Schutz's remaining evidence. Schutz appealed to this court.

         Analysis

         Standard of review

         {¶ 6} We must affirm the BTA's decision if it is "reasonable and lawful." R.C. 5717.04. "The fair market value of property for tax purposes is a question of fact, the determination of which is primarily within the province of the taxing authorities, and this court will not disturb a decision of the [BTA] with respect to such valuation unless it affirmatively appears from the record that such decision is unreasonable or unlawful." Cuyahoga Cty. Bd. of Revision v. Fodor, 15 Ohio St.2d 52, 239 N.E.2d 25 (1968), syllabus. We review legal issues de ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.