Paying taxes is an inevitable part of life, but the amount can vary from year to year. If you believe your property has been unfairly assessed, it’s crucial to consider filing an appeal with the local tax assessor’s office promptly. This article will guide you through the when, why, and how of submitting a Property Tax Assessment Appeal, offering insights into the reasons to appeal and the necessary steps to take.
Reasons to Appeal a Property Tax Assessment:
- Inflated Property Value: Discovering an inflated property value in the assessor’s valuation notice is a common trigger for appeals.
- Work Papers Review: Understanding the methodology behind the assessment by reviewing the assessor’s “work papers.”
- Inaccurate Asset Inclusion: Uncovering inaccuracies, such as including business personal property you no longer own.
Common Grounds for Property Tax Appeals:
Ownership of Third-Party Assets: Ensuring that property or assets belonging to third parties are not erroneously included in your assessment.
Double Valuation: Addressing instances where the assessor mistakenly assigns different values to the same property.
Underestimated Asset Value: Exploring cases where the assessor undervalued assets due to depreciation or inaccurate descriptions.
Incorrect Property Information:
Overvaluation Due to Errors: Correcting overvaluation resulting from incorrect property information, such as building features or size.
Comparative Valuation: Evaluating your property’s worth relative to comparable listings in your area.
Addressing Excessive Value Increases:
Legal Considerations: Understanding the legality of significant increases in property value and when an appeal is warranted.
How to Write a Property Tax Appeal Letter:
Formal Notice of Protest: Providing a simple and formal letter indicating your intention to appeal.
Specify Objections: Clearly stating the account number(s) in dispute and explaining the grounds for objection.
Timely Submission: Recognizing the 30 to 45-day window for filing an appeal after receiving the valuation notice.
After Submitting the Appeal Letter:
Acknowledgment and Case Number: Expecting confirmation of your appeal, including a case or appeal number.
Hearing Preparation: Understanding the varying timeframes for case preparation and hearings in different states.
Payment Considerations: Being aware of potential requirements to pay the increased amount while the appeal is in progress.
Streamlining the Property Tax Appeal Process:
Avalara Property Tax Software: Highlighting the benefits of using automation tools to track filing dates and streamline the appeals process.
Expert Assistance: Emphasizing the value of professional assistance from the Avalara team for complex property tax issues.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Deadline for Filing a Property Tax Appeal?
Property Tax Appeals deadlines vary by location. Ensure you check with your local tax authority for accurate information.
How Can I Gather Evidence for My Appeal?
Compile relevant documents such as property records, recent appraisals, and comparable sales data to strengthen your case.
Is Hiring a Professional Necessary for a Successful Appeal?
While not mandatory, enlisting the help of a professional can enhance your chances of a successful appeal.
Can I Appeal Every Year?
Yes, in most jurisdictions, property owners have the right to appeal their Tax Assessments annually.
Are Commercial Property Appeals Different from Residential Appeals?
Yes, the criteria and considerations for commercial and residential property appeals may differ. It’s crucial to understand the distinctions.
What Happens After Submitting an Appeal?
The timeline and process after filing an appeal can vary. Stay informed by regularly checking with your local tax authority for updates on your case.
Effectively navigating the property tax appeal process involves understanding the reasons to appeal, crafting a compelling letter, adhering to deadlines, and, in some cases, leveraging technology to simplify the process. With the right knowledge and tools, property owners can ensure a fair assessment of their taxes.