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Understanding Your Assessment

 
 

In an effort to assist the taxpayer in determining whether their assessments are fair or not, many government agencies publish booklets with titles like "How to Challenge Your Assessment" or "How to Grieve Your Assessment." The titles alone tend to place the taxpayer and the assessor on opposite sides. All too often, taxpayers mistakenly feel that the assessor is an adversary, so they avoid all contact until they meet before an assessment grievance board or commission to question their assessment. In most cases this is not necessary and may cause needless work, expense, and sometimes frustration for both you and your assessor. All the professional assessor wants to do is create the most equitable result within the limits of the laws of the jurisdiction.

 

In fact, if you think your assessment is too high, you should simply have an informal meeting with the assessor to discuss the information and methods used to arrive at the current assessed value. More often than not, questions of value can be cleared up in a very brief meeting between the assessor and taxpayer. At that meeting you can check the inventory information on your property and also see how other comparable properties are assessed. It is also fair to ask the methodology used in arriving at your current assessment. Did they use the sales comparison, income, or cost approach to value?

 

If this meeting does not help you find common ground with the assessor, then you can request information on administrative or judicial review procedures.

 
 

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