Documentation is Key to Tax Appeals, Appraisal Institute Says
March 14, 2017 08:00 AM
CHICAGO (March 14, 2017) – Homeowners considering a property tax appeal can make the process less burdensome by preparing themselves with the proper documentation, the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers said today.
Homeowners should remember that the amount of property taxes due to local municipalities is derived from the location and assessed value of the property, according to the Appraisal Institute. These values are subject to change over time based on land values, market changes or improvements made to the home.
“Assessors aren’t out to ‘get’ homeowners,” said Appraisal Institute President Jim Amorin, MAI, SRA, AI-GRS. “They are usually local elected officials who not only want to make voters happy, but are trying to get it right. Typically, if an assessment is inaccurate, it’s because assessors use value models that don’t take into account the condition, features or improvements made in individual properties.”
One way a consumer can help ensure a more accurate property tax assessment is by providing the local assessor with an independent appraisal that provides a credible, reliable opinion of value. Many appraisers collaborate with property tax consultants and attorneys who specialize in tax appeal matters. The collective expertise of those professionals can provide a property owner the best opportunity for a successful tax appeal.
“Consumers also should be mindful that the IRS has specific rules about the deductibility of property taxes and should check with their tax professionals to ensure their filings are prepared accordingly,” Amorin said.
Municipalities sometimes have varying stages of tax appeals, so it’s important for homeowners to consult with their assessor’s office or a local appraiser who can provide expertise on specific regulations governing tax appeals.
Assessors often are adept at spotting unreasonably low values that are prepared by “hired guns.” These faulty valuations can raise a red flag within the assessor’s office that might have an impact on a consumer’s property tax appeal.
“It’s important for homeowners to hire an appraiser who conforms to industry standards. Designated Members of the Appraisal Institute abide by a strict code of ethics and can help ensure an independent, objective and impartial opinion of value,” Amorin said.
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The Appraisal Institute is a global professional association of real estate appraisers, with nearly 19,000 professionals in almost 60 countries throughout the world. Its mission is to advance professionalism and ethics, global standards, methodologies, and practices through the professional development of property economics worldwide. Organized in 1932, the Appraisal Institute advocates equal opportunity and nondiscrimination in the appraisal profession and conducts its activities in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws. Individuals of the Appraisal Institute benefit from an array of professional education and advocacy programs, and may hold the prestigious MAI, SRPA, SRA, AI-GRS and AI-RRS designations. Learn more at www.appraisalinstitute.org.