MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Ohio (WDTN) — Property values dropped by more than one billion dollars in the county in the last three years according to the Montgomery County Auditor.
The loss will impact everyone from homeowners to communities to schools.
“A loss in dollars means less available resources to educate our students,” says Craig Jones, Dayton Public Schools Treasurer.
Montgomery County school leaders learned they’ll lose $5.7 million starting next year because of the more than four percent drop in property values around the county. Property Values are used to determine how much schools get in tax dollars.
“I think what it shows is it gives us a more complete picture of how the recession and the housing crisis has impacted this community,” says Montgomery County Auditor Karl Keith.
Only Preble Shawnee, Centerville and Oakwood showed slight gains in residential values. Every other school district in the county lost tax dollars with Northridge, Trotwood and Dayton showing the largest percentage loss in value.
Districts say the loss was expected but still something they have to deal with.
“We have to adjust our budget and plan accordingly,” Jones says.
The loss also impacts the county’s human services which will lose $4.6 million.
That money goes toward everything from protecting children and seniors to the health district which checks restaurants and gives vaccines.
“We think given the right strategies and given the right revenue mix that we can continue to provide the critical high quality human services across the broad spectrum,” says Montgomery County Administrator Joe Tuss.
The drop is also having an impact on neighborhoods.
Julia Hunter can still remember when her neighborhood was growing in more ways than one.
“We’d always have a contest to see who would have the best yard,” Hunter says.
But like many area neighborhoods still recovering from the recession, the competition now in Roosevelt is largely with overgrown lots and vacant homes.
The total loss in value in the county since 2008 is $3.5 billion.
So what will it take to return values to their pre-recession levels?
“It’s going to be a long road back,” Keith says.
The numbers showed some improvements, as a few communities gained in value whereas three years ago everyone declined.
“We’re seeing signs of recovery,” Keith says. “Certainly the housing market has picked up. The number of sales in the last three years shows signs of a much healthier housing market.”
But values took the biggest hit in the county’s urban core.
That’s where Roosevelt comes in. New homes built by the St. Marys Development Corporation are slowly replacing the old abandoned ones.
“We’ve been lucky,” says Celeste Pickett, who lives in Roosevelt. “Had some nice neighbors come through.”
Adds Hunter about the neighborhood, “It’s coming back, thank God, it’s coming back.”