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CINCINNATI (WKRC) – Some Hamilton County homeowners will be forced to deal with significantly higher property tax increases, while others will see their taxes remain the same or even decrease slightly, according to a new report.

The analysis found that most of these changes occurred along racial and economic lines.

The researchers behind the report said that a quarter of homeowners in the county saw a reduction in their property taxes. They also said that another quarter saw little to no change in their tax bills. While the remaining 50% of people saw a moderate to dramatic increase in their bill, sometimes even doubling.

Eruka Director Junia Howell, Ph.D., said that in communities with populations of color, property taxes have increased by an average of nearly $1,000.

“Compared to white neighborhoods, where taxes have gone up by just over $400, that’s a really big difference. The percentage difference, like for whites, is even more drastic; it’s 10 times as large,” Howell said.

Howell said researchers looked at recent sales and changes in properties but found no connection. She said the new valuation formula devalues ​​highly valued properties while overvaluing low-valued properties.

“We found really dramatic differences in the relative changes in tax assessments, which ultimately led to some people’s taxes going down while others went up, and some people’s taxes went up disproportionately. The tax burden on the wealthy went down, the tax burden on white residents went down, the tax burden on white communities went down, and the opposite is true as well,” Howell said.

If you would like to learn more about the history of property tax and its current calculation, click here.

Equal housing opportunities, according to managing director Elisabeth Risch, these disproportionate increases would have dramatic long-term effects on the home ownership rate in poorer areas.

“The consequences of this are that people are going to lose their homes and a lot of their generational wealth. That’s equity in people’s homes that has been passed down sometimes through generations, and so I think we as a population are really concerned about the loss of that wealth and equity and how that’s going to disproportionately impact people of color and low-income people in our community,” Risch said.

One way to avoid a large property tax increase is to be a well-informed homeowner. If you meet certain income or age requirements, you may be eligible for tax exemptions, which can help lower the amount you owe.

Researchers and advocates alike believe that the way property taxes are calculated needs to be changed. This is the only way to make the process fairer for everyone.

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