March Board of Review: Appealing a Property Tax Assessment
It is that time of year again. The time of year when the new proposed tax bills arrive in the mail with some unexplained new valuation placed on our homes. If you are like many, the new proposed taxable values and assessed values can be a source of confusion. Sometimes it seems unexplainable that the taxable or assessed value raised, when the value of homes everywhere is falling.
To find out if the new assessed value is reasonably accurate, estimate the market value of your property by checking recent sales of property similar to your own. Be sure to consider the age, location, updates, lot size, and style of home. All of this information is available at the Assessor’s Office, real estate offices and online. You may also prefer to have an independent appraisal done, but it is not necessary.
The new assessment should represent approximately 50% of the price your property would sell for (if it were for sale). Compare your estimate with the new estimated assessed value. If there is a substantial difference between your estimate and the new proposed estimate, you may request the Assessor’s Office review it, and/or appeal to the local Board of Review in March of each year.
But come prepared! Knowing the market similar to your house is not enough. Bring proof of comparable home sales. Contact us at Park Place Homes to assist you with this. Realtors know the market and we will be able to support the valuation claim with comparable home sales laid out in an easy to read spreadsheet form to take to the Board of Reviews. As well, If the purchase happened in the last year or less, bring the appraisal from the bank to help prove your value.
However, before appealing to the Board of Reviews, check the bill and consider the TAXABLE value of the property as your main concern. This is the number the taxes are calculated on; therefore the number that can cost you the most. The assessed value may be higher, but if the taxable value is in line, there is little room for negotiating with the review board.
Finally, expect reasonable results. As I stated before, your expectations should center around the taxable value. Assessed values mean very little, even when a house is up for sale, so fight the battle that actually costs money; fight the taxable value.
You may appeal your assessment or taxable value to the local Board of Review, which meets the second Monday in March each year. It is crucial to meet the deadline for appeal. Be sure to call the Assessor’s Office for the meeting dates and times if you are contemplating an appeal and do not know when the Board of Review is meeting. You may file your appeal by letter if postmarked no later than the last hearing date.
The Board of Review holds hearings by appointment. If you wish to appeal your assessment, please call the City Assessor’s Office at 989-837-3334 to schedule an appointment. Appointments are generally 10 minutes in length.