- Capital University Law School, LL.M., 2000
- Capital University Law School, J.D., 1997, cum laude
- The Ohio State University, B.S.B.A., 1988
Bar & Court Admissions
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio
- United States Tax Court
- Admitted to practice law only in the states listed above.
Nicholas is a partner in the Vorys Columbus office and a member of the tax group. His practice focuses on real property tax valuation disputes and appeals. Nicholas has assisted clients in over 40 states in managing real property tax assessments including contesting assessments where appropriate. Engagements range from portfolio-wide representation to individual properties. In Ohio, Nicholas has served as lead counsel in more than 25 real property tax valuation cases before the Ohio Supreme Court. In addition, he has served as lead counsel in scores of Ohio Board of Tax Appeals cases and has appeared before more than 60 of Ohio’s 88 county boards of revision.
Nicholas also has significant experience in other aspects of state and local taxation including personal property taxation, sales and use tax, and oil and gas tax. He has represented clients before county boards of revision, the Ohio Department of Taxation, the Ohio Board of Tax Appeals and the Supreme Court of Ohio. Nicholas is also a past chair of the Ohio State Bar Association's Taxation Committee.
Nicholas is a frequent presenter and has lectured on state and local tax issues in Ohio. He was an adjunct professor of law at Capital University Law School, where he taught on state and local tax matters as well as tax research, tax and professional responsibility and tax policy.
Nicholas received his J.D. cum laude and his LL.M. in taxation from Capital University Law School. He received his B.S.B.A. from The Ohio State University.
Nicholas is a Certified Public Accountant (Inactive).
Professional and Community Activities
- Ohio State Bar Association, Taxation Law Committee, Immediate Past Chair, present; Property Tax Sub-Committee Chair, 2006-present
- Columbus Early Learning Centers, Board Member, 1999-2008; Board President, 2003-2005; Board Treasurer, 2001-2003
Honors & Awards
- The Best Lawyers in America, Tax Law, 2018-2020
- Columbus CEO, Top Lawyers in Columbus, 2013-2018
- Ohio Super Lawyers, Tax, 2010
- Martindale-Hubbell AV Peer Review Rated
- 5/6/2020Ray Quoted in Bisnow Real Estate Story Titled “Tax Attorneys Expect A Wave Of Coronavirus Tax Appeals”Nicholas Ray was quoted throughout a Bisnow story on tax valuation appeals that may be filed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- 8/15/2019One hundred and thirteen lawyers from Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2020.
- 8/15/2018One hundred and thirteen lawyers from Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2019.
- 8/17/2017One hundred and eight lawyers from Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2018.
- 3/28/2017This year, 54 Vorys attorneys were listed in the 2017 Columbus CEO “Top Lawyers” List.
- 1/2/2013Vorys announced that Matthew E. Albers, Tiffany Bingham Briscoe, Daniel J. Clark, Whitney C. Gibson, Robert J. Krummen, Christina M. Lyons, Joseph B. Mann, Timothy B. McGranor, Adam L. Miller, Ariel A. Mullin, William H. Oldach, III, Nicholas M.J. Ray, and Michael J. Settineri have been named partners of the firm.
- 5/14/2012Nicholas Ray, of counsel in the Vorys Columbus office, was quoted in a Columbus Dispatch story about central Ohio businesses that have filed complaints, regarding the Franklin County Auditor’s appraisal of commercial property values, with the Franklin County Board of Revision.
- 4/30/2012Nicholas Ray, of counsel in the firm’s Columbus office, was quoted in a Columbus Dispatch article on the gap between the purchase price of properties for sale by banks and the Franklin County Auditor’s appraisal of property values.
- 11/13/2019On November 13, 2019, the Vorys Cleveland office hosted a program titled, “Tax Strategies for Real Estate Transactions,” in conjunction with Madison Commercial Real Estate Services.
- 9/20/2019Vorys Attorneys, Tony Ehler, Dave Froling, Nicholas Ray and Scott Ziance spoke at the Council on State Taxation (COST) Mid-West Regional State Tax Seminar on September 20, 2019.
- 3/7/2019Vorys Partner Nicholas Ray and Associate Andrew DeBord presented a webinar titled, “Real Estate Tax Deadlines are Looming: Here is What You May Be Missing,” to the members of the Ohio Council of Retail Merchants.
- 3/3/2017Vorys attorneys Bryan Falk Nick House, Nicholas Ray and Tom Vetter were speakers at the OH, KY, IN, MI, PA Retail Development & Law Symposium hosted by the International Council of Shopping Centers on March 3, 2017.
- 1/26/2016Vorys attorneys Tony Ehler and Nicholas Ray were speakers at the 25th Annual Ohio Tax Conference on January 26-27, 2015.
- 1/28/2014Several Vorys attorneys spoke at the 23rd Annual Ohio Tax Conference on January 28-29, 2014.
- 1/29/2013Several Vorys attorneys spoke at the 22nd Annual Ohio State Tax Conference, that took place on Tuesday and Wednesday, January 29-30, 2013.
- 10/5/2012Vorys attorney Nicholas M.J Ray presented on current tax issues at the Ohio State Tax Issues Update on Friday, October 5, 2012.
- 1/24/2012Vorys attorneys Chris Connelly, Dave Froling, Laura Kulwicki, Nicholas Ray, Steven Smiseck and Scott Ziance participated in the 21st Annual Ohio Tax Conference on January 24-25.
- 5/29/2020Ohio Board of Tax Appeals Reverses Course on Real Property Tax Exemptions for Permanent Supportive Housing FacilitiesOn May 28, 2020, the Ohio Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) issued a decision in Columbus City Schools Dis. Bd. of Edn. v. McClain, et al. (May 28, 2020), BTA No. 2018-649 that reverses real property tax exemptions for permanent supportive housing facilities.
- 3/24/2020The Vorys real property tax team is monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic’s effect on property tax filings and deadlines.
- Winter 2020This article outlines states/jurisdictions with upcoming real property tax appeal deadlines.
- Winter 2020
- 1/7/2020State and Local Tax Alert: Proposed Ohio Legislation Would Apply Real Estate Transfer Tax to Pass-Through Entity Transfers and Result in Increased Tax ValuationsOn December 17, 2019, Representatives Green and Skindell introduced a bill (H.B. 449) to apply the conveyance fee tax to transfers of a controlling interest in a pass-through entity that owns real estate.
- 7/17/2019Taxpayers seeking to contest the values established by the local assessor have a short time-to contest their new valuation. This time frame varies by state and by local jurisdiction and in many cases begins to run upon mailing of a new value notice.
- 7/17/2019Since the last edition of The Evaluator, there have been several notable decisions from courts and tax boards; and legislative developments in jurisdictions across the country.
- 4/10/2019Taxpayers seeking to contest the values established by the local assessor have a short time-to contest their new valuation.
- 4/10/2019Since the last edition of The Evaluator, there have been several notable legislative developments and decisions from courts and tax boards in jurisdictions across the country.
- 3/7/2019Property taxes are frequently the largest non-productive expense incurred by property owners, and proactive management of this expense may result in increased profitability.
- 2/12/2019Every six years the State of Ohio requires counties to reappraise real estate.
- 1/8/2019Every six years the State of Ohio requires counties to reappraise real estate.
- 1/8/2019Taxpayers seeking to contest real property tax values established by assessing jurisdictions across the country often have a short window of opportunity to contest their new valuation.
- 8/2018Recently, there have been several notable decisions from courts and tax boards in jurisdictions across the country including Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, Colorado, Tennessee, Minnesota, Indiana and North Carolina. These decisions related to numerous real estate tax areas including exemptions and assessments.
- 5/2018Taxpayers seeking to contest the values established by the auditor or county assessor have a short time-to contest their new valuation.
- 5/2018Recently, there have been several notable decisions from courts and tax boards in jurisdictions across the country including Ohio, Indiana, California, Oregon, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Arizona.
- 3/2018Taxpayers seeking to contest the values established by the auditor or county assessor have a short time-to contest their new valuation.
- 3/2018Property tax decisions of interest from around the country from January and February 2018.
- Winter 2018The State of Ohio requires counties to reappraise properties for tax purposes every six years and update those values in the middle of that cycle.
- Winter 2018
- Winter 2018The below legislation is currently pending or will be introduced soon.
- Summer 2017Ohio Financial Institutions Should Prepare for Property Tax Valuation Increases as Owners and as LendersOver the next several months many Ohio county auditors will complete the required six-year tax appraisal of all properties located in their counties.
- 8/29/2017Client Alert: Time is Now for Central Ohio Property Owners to Challenge Property Tax Valuation IncreasesSeveral central Ohio auditors have recently released updated property appraisals used to determine property taxes to be paid over the next three years.
- Summer 2017Over the next several months, many Ohio county auditors will complete the required six-year tax appraisal of all properties located in their counties.
- 7/11/2017State and Local Tax Alert: Ohio Supreme Court Overturns Reliance upon Leased Fee Sales for Real Property Tax PurposesOn June 22, 2017, the Ohio Supreme Court issued a decision overturning over a decade of case law that consistently found that a recent arm’s length sale was the best evidence of value for real property tax purposes regardless of the circumstances surrounding the sale.
- 7/11/2017On June 22, 2017 the Ohio Supreme Court issued a decision overturning over a decade of case law that consistently found that a recent arm’s length sale was the best evidence of value for real property tax purposes regardless of the circumstances surrounding the sale.
- 5/23/2017State and Local Tax Alert: Short Window Now Open To Discuss Proposed 2017 Values with the Hamilton County AuditorThe Hamilton County Auditor recently mailed letters to all property owners notifying them of the 2017 new tentative values for their properties.
- 6/23/2016The Evaluator - Special Edition: Ohio BTA Holds That Big Box Property Is NOT Special Purpose; Finds Value Near Taxpayer’s TotalThe Ohio Board of Tax Appeals (BTA), on a remand from the Ohio Supreme Court, has held that the special purpose doctrine did not apply to a big box Lowe’s property.
- Winter 2016During 2015, the number of appeals to the Ohio Supreme Court from decisions of the Ohio Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) declined from historical highs in 2014, but are still significantly above appeals from prior years.
- Winter 2016The court reversed a Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) decision that denied a property tax exemption to a board of education that leased a 34-acre parcel of property to a farmer. The local board of education (BOE) acquired 154 acres to build a new high school.
- Winter 2016The State of Ohio requires counties to reappraise properties for tax purposes every six years and update those values in the middle of that cycle. This cycle is not evenly distributed between Ohio’s 88 counties.
- 9/16/2015State and Local Tax Alert: Board of Tax Appeals Decides First Case Concerning Allocation of Property Taxes from Horizontal DrillingThe Ohio Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) recently decided what we believe is its first case concerning the allocation of property taxes from horizontal drilling. In the case, the BTA affirmed the Harrison County Board of Revision’s decision dismissing a complaint filed by a local taxing authority challenging the allocation of the tax revenue.
- 11/3/2014Published in The Evaluator, this article details the number of appeals to the Ohio Supreme Court from decisions of the Ohio Board of Tax Appeals (BTA).
- 11/3/2014Published in The Evaluator, this article details several cases related to real property taxation.
- 11/3/2014Published in The Evaluator, this article details counties reappraising or updated tax valuations for 2014.
- 11/3/2014In the Fall 2014 edition of The Evaluator, read about appeals of BTA decisions, cases the Ohio Supreme Court decided related to real property taxation, as well as updates on counties reappraising or updated tax valuations for 2014.
- 7/2/2013On Sunday June 30, 2013, Governor Kasich signed Ohio’s biennial budget bill, which includes numerous provisions impacting Ohio taxpayers. Though the tax reforms in the final bill are not as sweeping as originally proposed, they will still impact virtually every state tax in some fashion.
- 1/24/2013Published in The Evaluator, this article details why property owners should act now if they wish to challenge their Ohio 2012 tax valuations.
- 1/24/2013This article, published in The Evaluator, explains tax reforms endorsed by the OSBA Council of Delegates. These reforms are focused on efforts to both improve the efficiency of the BTA while also addressing several areas of concern with the operation of the BTA.
- 1/24/2013This article, originally published in The Evaluator, details recent decisions made by the Supreme Court of Ohio as well as in the state legislature.
- 1/24/2013This article, originally published in The Evaluator, details recent decisions of the Ohio Board of Tax Appeals.
- 10/26/2012The state of Ohio requires county auditors to reappraise properties every six years and update those values in the middle of that cycle. The auditors for several Ohio counties listed below are currently finalizing property values to meet this obligation.
- 10/16/2012This summer the Ohio legislature passed significant changes to real property taxation that will impact all property owners. These changes include clarifying how a property is to be valued for real property tax purposes, changing how a recent sale should impact the value of property for taxation purposes, as well as other changes that will impact the filing of complaints at local Boards of Revision.
- 10/16/2012During the past quarter, the Ohio Supreme Court issued several decisions regarding real property taxation.
- 10/16/2012This article, originally published in The Evaluator, details recent decisions by the Ohio Board of Tax Appeals and Appellate Courts.
- 10/16/2012In this quarterly publication, our attorneys will research and write articles that are insightful, interesting and helpful to you. If something is on the horizon that you should know, we'll tell you how it affects you and what you should do to prepare.
- 6/19/2012On June 11, 2012, Governor Kasich signed into law Am. Sub H.B. 487 (H.B. 487). That legislation includes changes to R.C. 5713.03, the section of the Revised Code that pertains to the valuation of real property in Ohio.
- 1/12/2012On December 21, 2011, Governor Kasich signed Substitute House Bill 225 (the Bill). As enacted, the Bill includes changes to Ohio’s New Community Authority (NCA) law, permits the county boards of revision to adopt procedures for the electronic filing of real property tax valuation complaints and makes county auditors responsible for the review and approval of property tax exemption applications for certain types of publicly owned property.