Ohio Board of Tax Appeals Budget Cut By 42%

In the budget enacted by Ohio’s General Assembly for the 2010 and 2011 biennium, the amount appropriated to the Ohio Board of Tax Appeals (“BTA”) was reduced by 41.9% from the BTA’s actual FY 2009 expenditures.  As a result, the BTA was forced to reduce its staff, including cutting its attorney examiners in half.  The reduction in its staff could not come at a worse time, as the number of cases appealed to the BTA is increasing due, in part, to the growing number of real property valuation challenges.  The BTA has stated it expects that appeals will now take 2-3 years for a final resolution, if not longer.  We believe BTA appeals will take even longer than 3 years if the BTA does not receive additional funding.  Additionally, this may result in the misuse of BTA appeals to delay paying the liability, taking advantage of Ohio’s simple interest accrual (currently at 5% and decreasing to 4% in 2010), thereby increasing the BTA’s case load even more.