December 13, 2018
REAL PROPERTY TAX CHECK LIST
Once a year, it is important to review the status of your real property, to ensure it’s assessment and subsequent tax liability are fair and equitable. Below is a check list you can utilize to ensure your firm’s real property holdings are good-to-go for 2019:
- List all property locations and match up to assessment notices/tax bills.
- Sort tax liabilities in descending order per state and/or taxing unit.
- Monitor changes in value as soon as notices are received. Assessments that increased more than 15% need to be culled out and handed to a valuation specialist to question the change in value prior to the appeal deadline (too often these increases do not stand out until tax bills come out and then it is too late!).
- Don’t file “blind appeals”. Assessors do not enjoy chasing rabbits down a hole only to find that your value may be understated.
- Pay your real property taxes on time! Besides interest and possible penalties being applied, in many states you lose the right to appeal the value on properties that are negligent in tax payment.
- Whenever time permits, contact the assessor and inform them of your concerns prior to filing an appeal. Many times they will accommodate you and make an adjustment based on Information or data supplied by you. Remember, they don’t like going to court either!
- If your research finds a marginal (less than 15%) disparity in value, stop by the assessor’s Office prior to the appeal deadline and if there is not time to resolve the issue, discuss filing a “Protective appeal” or ask if they will reconsider the value basis for the following tax year.
- If you find that you are behind in the entire process, pick out 20% of your top properties based on tax liabilities and ask a reputable tax consultant to do an in-house review and give you their recommendations.