Property Tax Information
Since the 1800's, property taxes have been the single most important source of funding for Ohio's schools. In Wyoming, property taxes account for 40% of the District's general fund revenue. Property Taxes are generated through voted property tax levies and based on the assessed value of the property.
Property Appraisals and School District Property Taxes
In late 2023, all property owners in the Wyoming City School District - and all of Hamilton County - received information from the Hamilton County Auditor indicating new appraised values of property. When property is reassessed, you may or may not see an increase in your tax bill.
Property value increase does not result in property tax increase for Wyoming City Schools
One important thing to know is that there is not a one-to-one relationship between value increases and taxes. Though appraised values in Wyoming increased by 29%, Wyoming City Schools will not see a large increase in property tax revenue. This is due to Ohio House Bill (HB) 920, passed in 1976, to limit the growth of property taxes. HB920 works by reducing what is called the “effective millage,” or tax rate, so that the owner pays roughly the same amount they did the year before, all other factors being equal. Therefore, a school district collects roughly the same amount as it did the year before the reappraisal on voted levies. Said another way, as property values increase, tax rates decrease, so school districts receive the same amount of money for voted operating levies. (There are a number of exceptions to this example including new construction - which does not have a material impact in Wyoming).
How “equalization” impacts tax bills
To complicate the question of “will my taxes go up” even further, not all areas and properties are impacted the same; the key is how each property compares to the average increase across Wyoming City Schools. Across our school district, residential property values increased 29%. If an individual property is reappraised higher than the average, that owner will pay more taxes. If an individual property is reappraised lower than the average, the owner will experience a decrease in taxes. The result is that Wyoming City Schools will receive roughly the same total revenue. This process is rooted in fairness and protection of all property owners and is often called “equalization.”
Voted mills vs. inside mills
Muddying the waters a bit more is the concept of “inside mills.” These mills were established in Section 2 of Article XII of the Ohio Constitution and are exempt from HB920, meaning that this revenue does grow with value growth. In Wyoming City Schools, our inside millage is 3.85, so a very small - about 10% - of our total millage. A mill is a unit of value for expressing the rate of property taxes in Ohio. A mill is defined as one-tenth of a percent of one-tenth of a cent (0.1 cents) in cash terms. Millage is the factor applied to the assessed value of property to produce tax revenue.
Bond levies and millage
Finally, one more component of property taxes is important to understand. When Ohio schools need tax revenue to construct new buildings, they ask voters for those funds through a ballot issue called a Bond Levy. Bond levies work similar to mortgages. The school district issues debt for the building project and then collects tax revenue annually to pay the annual principal and interest payments on the debt. Wyoming currently has two outstanding bond levies from two voted issues:
1998 Bond Issue for WHS - voted at 8.2 mills
2012 Bond Issue for WMS - voted at 4.79 mills
The bond millage is adjusted each year in order to collect enough revenue to pay the principal and interest payments on the debt. As property values have increased, less millage has been required to make the payments. In December of 2024, Wyoming City Schools will pay off the “mortgage” on the WHS debt, which will decrease millage by 3.36 mills.
Understanding your appraisal and tax bill
Property taxes are calculated based on the underlying value of the property. Since property values change over time, Ohio has a statutory process in place to reappraise every property. This is done by each county auditor every six years (along with a more simplified “update” every three years) and is based on recent sales. Hamilton County, like other parts of Ohio, is experiencing historic property value increases.
The Hamilton County Auditor’s Office has information available on their website related to your values and your tax bill.
For questions specific to Wyoming City Schools tax rates and revenue, please reach out to Wyoming City Schools Treasurer Ronda Johnson at email@example.com.