The deadline to appeal your property tax assessment is rapidly approaching. If you miss it, there are no second chances or opportunities for an extension.
Find out the four important steps you should take after receiving a property tax assessment, and learn some key
tactics for building a successful appeal.
1. Understand how your property was assessed
Every state has a different way of assessing property taxes. In somestates, jurisdictions simply look at the purchase price of your property and adopt that as the assessment value. Unfortunately, that doesn’t take into account the business personal property (all movable assets) or the intangible assets (such as brand value or workforce) that you may have purchased along with the real estate, and that were included in the total transaction price.
When you receive a property tax assessment, you first need to understand how your property was assessed, and how that assessment compares to the actual value of your commercial real estate holdings. For the majority of companies, properties are assessed at a value that is much too high, resulting in property taxes that are higher than they should be, which results in you paying more than your fair share.
2. Note your deadline
If you’re considering appealing your property taxes, you don’t have long to make the decision. Property tax appeal deadlines are quick, sometimes as short at 15 days. That’s not very long to gather the information needed to file the appeal. Because this is your one shot for the year to secure property tax savings, it’s imperative that you meet this deadline.
Also, regardless of whether or not you choose to appeal, you must pay the amount of property taxes you owe based on your jurisdiction’s assessment. If your appeal is successful, you’ll receive a refund or credit on your next tax bill – but if your property taxes are not paid on time, you forfeit the right to appeal.
3. Know your jurisdiction’s requirements
Like the assessment process and the appeal deadline, the appeal process also differs from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Each jurisdiction requires different information, and each has a different procedure for filing that information. This aspect of the appeal process is often arduous, and could even cost you a successful appeal. If you leave out key information or present the information in the wrong format, your appeal could be denied by the jurisdiction, no questions asked
To ensure that your property tax appeal gets off the ground, check with your jurisdiction to find out exactly what they require from you. And make sure you comply with all of these requirements.
4. Contact a property tax advisor
Because property tax appeal deadlines are so short and filing requires so much research and work, it’s best to trust an expert to file and conduct your appeal. The risk in filing an appeal is that it is a two-way street: it allows the assessor to go back and review the assessment in detail. They now have the right to increase the assessment, just as you are appealing it.
Property tax advisors know how to manage this risk; they have the resources and databases to build a compelling appeal on behalf of your company while limiting the chance of an increased assessment.
In the majority of cases, property tax advisors uncover property tax savings that you would never have expected. You may look at your assessment and view it as valid, simply because it was close to the value owed last year. Instead, your assessments should be looked at with a critical, knowledgeable eye.
When you’re hit with a property tax assessment, the first call you make should be to property tax advisors who are capable of securing major tax savings.
Don’t wait another day to address your property tax assessment. If you do, you might miss your appeal deadline. Contact RPTA’s property tax advisors now.