We all like a little extra money in our pocket. More importantly, we hate spending more than we should. That’s why property tax appeals are a growing area of interest for home and business owners.
No, Your Property Tax Assessor Isn’t Always Right.
In fact, it’s pretty easy for a property tax assessor to get it wrong. While many people may assume that what they see is what they get, there are actually quite a few good reasons why you might want to rethink just accepting your value estimation time and again.
Reasons Why the Property Tax Assessor Might Be Wrong:
- Nobody’s perfect: Government assessors often make procedural errors.
- Government assessors may utilize outdated residential sales information. According to the Appraisal Institute, “Assessors can’t look at each property individually every year,” so that opens the door for value estimations to be founded on inaccurate data.
- If your property has deferred maintenance (i.e. roof, HVAC, plumbing), this can reduce your property’s taxable market value.
- Assessors are prone to applying general, mass-market data and techniques, which can lead to factual errors.
Depending on the value of your property, time and level of error, these mistakes can accrue big numbers. According to Legal Match, “…overpayments on taxes can build up over the years. Especially for more expensive homes, wrongly assessed properties have led to lawsuits involving millions of dollars in overpaid taxes. The homeowner would be entitled to retribution for the amount of taxes that they overpaid.”
How to Appeal Your Property Tax Assessment
For the best chance of success, the help of a qualified trusted professional should be step #1. A certified real estate appraiser or commercial appraiser will not only provide an accurate opinion of value but can also help navigate the entire appeals process.
Submit a formal form of appeal:
The state requires the Board of Equalization (BOE) to provide appeal forms to owners contesting their property’s assessed value. Forms are available May 1stand must be submitted by the second Monday of July. By law, there are no extensions.
Add supporting documentation:
Of course, the BOE will not just take your word for it. You must provide evidence along with their appeal form that supports your claim of inaccurate assessment.
Because this is such an important factor, your best bet is to hire a certified appraiser. They will provide a professional opinion of value, which you can then include with your appeal form. Your ideal appraiser should not only be certified but familiar with your area and familiar with property tax appeals.
Attend the hearing (or don’t):
Property assessment hearings are held in July and August. You don’t have to go, but if you or your representative choose to attend the hearing, the BOE will provide you with a specific date and time. Decisions are then sent by letter to you or your representative.
What if you disagree with the BOE’s decision?
If the BOE comes down on the side of the state’s assessor, you have the right to file another appeal with the State Tax Commission. You must file within 30 days of the date the BOE mailed your decision or by September 30thof that year, whichever date is later.
A Local Authority on Property Tax Appeal Services
For more information about property tax appeal services, please contact Authority Appraisals. We offer a team of certified, experienced appraisers that are experts, not just in our field, but in our knowledge of the Greater St. Louis area and applicable laws. We will provide a legitimate, comprehensive appraisal and advocate for a fair reassessment for you.