You may have heard that several pipeline companies, including Rover and Nexus, have filed petitions for reassessment with the Ohio Department of Taxation (“ODT”) for significant reductions in their public utility tax assessments.
The reassessment of public utilities is governed by R.C. 5727.47. Under the statute, ODT is required to send notice of a petition for reassessment of a public utility to the county auditors of the counties in which the utility seeking a reduction is situated. Recently, ODT has provided notices of petitions for reassessment to several county auditors regarding the reductions sought by the pipelines. (Nexus is in 13 counties and Rover is in 18 counties.)
Filing a petition for reassessment entitles the taxpayer (the pipelines) to a private hearing with ODT where they can submit additional evidence of valuation. Following a hearing, the Tax Commissioner issues a final determination (which could take several months). Once a final determination is issued, the taxpayer or the county auditor has sixty (60) days to appeal the determination to the Board of Tax Appeals.
Unlike a real property valuation complaint, a school district does not have standing to participate in the hearing or appeal a final determination on a reassessment under R.C. 5727.47.
During the pendency of the proceedings, public utility taxpayers pay on the undisputed portion of the valuation. These types of petitions for reassessment can be filed annually.
It is important to keep in contact with your county auditor to ensure the district's interests are safeguarded.