Property tax management is a huge responsibility, and those assigned to it usually don’t know where to start. Because the process is complex and time-consuming, many companies quite simply pay the amount due based on their property tax assessment, as they are not aware that they can appeal and/or are unfamiliar with the process.
However, in 90% of cases, property tax experts recommend an appeal. If you don’t appeal or effectively manage your property taxes, you could be leaving thousands of dollars on the table.
Explore four areas of property tax management you should pay attention to, and discover how these areas could lead to major tax savings.
1. Annual Assessment Timelines And Appeal Deadlines
Every jurisdiction has a distinct process for assessing property values, and every jurisdiction has specific requirements for appealing your assessment. You need to understand and adhere to these requirements. Appeal deadlines are often short – some as short as 15 days. And if you miss your deadline, there’s no avenue to secure an extension. You’re simply out of luck.
Knowing the assessment timeline and appeal deadline helps you create a strategic plan to address your commercial property taxes each year. Contact your jurisdiction to verify both your assessment schedule and the deadline for a property tax appeal.
2. Jurisdiction Appeal Requirements
In the same way that every jurisdiction has a different appeal deadline, every jurisdiction also has different appeal requirements. As part of your property tax management process, research what your jurisdiction requires. You’ll likely face a lot of paperwork, all of which needs to be completed with precision. You also need to know what information should be included in your appeal.
To make the appeal process easier, it’s prudent to gather all of this information before you even receive the initial assessment.
3. Property Value
Because your property taxes are based on the value of your property, you should know what that value is. Conduct your own review of your property’s value, so when you receive an assessment from your jurisdiction, you’ll be able to gauge how accurate it is. And knowing the actual value of your property aids in the preparation of a property tax appeal, should one become necessary.
Compare your property value to similar properties in the same market. This information could validate your property tax appeal. If properties in your market are assessed at much lower prices than the jurisdiction’s assessment of your property, then the value of your property should be lowered, too.
4. Business Personal Property
Business personal property is often overlooked in property tax management. If your state taxes business personal property, you will be taxed on all moveable property on the business premises, including machinery, equipment, inventory and supplies. To ensure it is not double taxed with the real estate, you’re required to file an annual business personal property tax return listing all of the relevant assets.
As part of your property tax management procedure, create an accurate business personal property asset list and keep it current. If there are assets on your list that are no longer in use or have decreased in price due to obsolescence, adjust the list accordingly.
These are just four of the many aspects of commercial property management that you should be paying close attention to. Work with a property tax expert to ensure you’re effectively managing your property taxes and not leaving savings on the table.
Download our free checklist to discover more aspects of property tax management that you should be monitoring.