Formal Assessment Appeal

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Important
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Don't be intimidated by a formal appeal. Many communities will routinely reject a first appeal with moderate objectives and approve the same claim on appeal.

Contents

If you are dissatisfied with the assessor’s offer of compromise, or, worse, there is no compromise offered, then you have the right to appeal. To whom you appeal depends on the laws of your state. Your local assessor’s office will have the information you need as to whom your next appeal should be directed.


Each State and County has their own unique procedure for filling a formal appeal. See your State or County pages for more detail.

Organization

  • Most appeals boards are backlogged so it may be a long while between the time of your informal meeting with the local assessor and your turn on the appeals board docket. It is important that you hold on to your evidence and keep it all in pristine condition until you have the opportunity to present your case.


Learn

  • At least once and preferably more than once before your hearing date, visit your county or municipality’s appeals board hearings to see how they are conducted. Learn about the procedures that are followed.


Practice

  • Practice your presentation and time yourself. Unfortunately, because of the backlog, you will only have about ten minutes to present your appeal. Therefore, you must be extremely organized and have your evidence immediately accessible. Do not forget that the assessor has to have his or her turn as well. Bring all of the evidence you would have brought to meet with the local assessor. Your presentation should be succinct and not argumentative or hostile. Your will learn how much time you will have alloted by attending other hearings.


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Appeal to a Higher Authority

  • If you are unsuccessful at the municipal or county level, you can then appeal to the state appeals board. If you are unsuccessful there, you still have the option of taking the matter to a court of law. At the court level, the court will only be able to rule on matters of law. The court will give full weight to the findings of fact of the appeals boards. Each state requires that you exhaust your administrative remedies before you can appeal to a court of law.


Success

If you are successful the result could be a tax abatement, which is a tax refund. However, the abatement will only be for the year at issue. You will likely have to apply for tax abatement the following year and every year thereafter until the next county-wide revaluation.







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