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Section 21

SECTION 21 BOARD OF TAX REVIEW.

 (A)(1) The Board of Tax Review shall consist of three members. Two members shall be appointed by the legislative authority of the Village of Bellville, but such appointees may not be employees, elected officials, or contractors with the Village of Bellville at any time during their term or in the five years (which applies only to these two members)  immediately preceding the date of appointment. One member shall be appointed by the Mayor of the Village of Bellville. This member may be an employee of the Village of Bellville, but may not be the director of finance or equivalent officer, or the Tax Administrator or other similar official or an employee directly involved in municipal tax matters, or any direct subordinate thereof.

      (2) The term for members of the Board of Tax Review the Village of Bellville shall be two years. There is no limit on the number of terms that a member may serve if the member is reappointed by the legislative authority. The board member appointed by the Mayor of the Village of Bellville shall serve at the discretion of the administrative official.

      (3) Members of the Board of Tax Review appointed by the legislative authority may be removed by the legislative authority by majority vote for malfeasance, misfeasance, or nonfeasance in office. To remove such a member, the legislative authority must give the member a copy of the charges against the member and afford the member an opportunity to be publicly heard in person or by counsel in the member's own defense upon not less than ten days' notice. The decision by the legislative authority on the charges is final and not appealable.

      (4) A member of the Board of Tax Review who, for any reason, ceases to meet the qualifications for the position prescribed by this section shall resign immediately by operation of law.

      (5) A vacancy in an unexpired term shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment within 60 days of when the vacancy was created. Any member appointed to fill a vacancy occurring prior to the expiration of the term for which the member's predecessor was appointed shall hold office for the remainder of such term. No vacancy on the Board of Tax Review shall impair the power and authority of the remaining members to exercise all the powers of the Board of Tax Review.

      (6) If a member is temporarily unable to serve on the Board of Tax Review due to a conflict of interest, illness, absence, or similar reason, the legislative authority or top administrative official that appointed the member shall appoint another individual to temporarily serve on the Board of Tax Review in the member's place. The appointment of such an individual shall be subject to the same requirements and limitations as are applicable to the appointment of the member temporarily unable to serve.

(B) Whenever a Tax Administrator issues an assessment, the Tax Administrator shall notify the taxpayer in writing at the same time of the taxpayer's right to appeal the assessment, the manner in which the taxpayer may appeal the assessment, and the address to which the appeal should be directed.

(C) Any person who has been issued an assessment may appeal the assessment to the Board of Tax Review by filing a request with the Board of Tax Review. The request shall be in writing, shall specify the reason or reasons why the assessment should be deemed incorrect or unlawful, and shall be filed within 60 days after the taxpayer receives the assessment.

(D) The Board of Tax Review shall schedule a hearing to be held within 60 days after receiving an appeal of an assessment under division (C) of this section, unless the taxpayer requests additional time to prepare or waives a hearing. If the taxpayer does not waive the hearing, the taxpayer may appear before the Board of Tax Review and may be represented by an attorney at law, certified public accountant, or other representative. The Board of Tax Review may allow a hearing to be continued as jointly agreed to by the parties. In such a case, the hearing must be completed within 120 days after the first day of the hearing unless the parties agree otherwise.

(E) The Board of Tax Review may affirm, reverse, or modify the Tax Administrator's assessment or any part of that assessment. The Board of Tax Review shall issue a final determination on the appeal within 90 days after the Board of Tax Review's final hearing on the appeal, and send a copy of its final determination by ordinary mail to all of the parties to the appeal within 15 days after issuing the final determination. The taxpayer or the Tax Administrator may appeal the Board of Tax Review's final determination as provided in Section 5717.011 of the ORC.

(F) The Board of Tax Review created pursuant to this section shall adopt rules governing its procedures and shall keep a record of its transactions. Such records are not public records available for inspection under Section 149.43 of the ORC. Hearings requested by a taxpayer before a Board of Tax Review created pursuant to this section are not meetings of a public body subject to Section 121.22 of the ORC.