Tax History and Allocation
- Real Property and How it is Assessed
and Paying your Taxes
Tax Relief and Exemption
2. Real Property and how it is Assessed:
Real property is land and any improvements, such as buildings,
attached to the land. The assessor values real property using
one or more of three professional appraisal methods:
- Market or sales comparison method uses sales to
provide estimates of value for similar properties.
- Cost-approach method considers what it would cost
to replace an existing structure with a similar one that
serves the same purpose. The costing method is also used
in new construction valuation.
- Income method is used primarily to value business
property where the property tends to be worth its income
- producing potential. Most residential property is valued
by using the market or sales comparison method.
An individual sale does not automatically
establish the value of a property. The assessor uses multiple
sales to establish market value.
Assessors must revalue real property at least once
every four years. In some counties, properties are revalued
annually and are physically inspected at least once every
six years. After determining the value, the assessor
mails property owners a "Change of Value Notice." The
notice states the new and the old values. By comparing
the two values, property owners can tell whether their property
has increased or decreased in value. The notice also
breaks down the value between land and improvements.
Valuation notices are NOT tax bills. An increase in
value does not mean that next year's property taxes will increase
at a proportionate rate.
Petition: You must file your completed appeal
petition with the County Board of Equalization by July 1 of
the assessment year or within 30 days of when the change of
value notice was mailed, whichever date is later. Appeal forms
are available from the Clerk of the Board or the Assessor's
Office. Contact the Assessor's Office to review your
valuation any time you have a question regarding your property
value. Property owners can often settle disagreements at this
level without filing a formal appeal. If you are not
satisfied, you may file a written appeal with the County Board
of Equalization. The County Board is appointed to determine
questions of value. It does not consider taxes. To appeal
a valuation to the County Board of Equalization, you must
show that the assessor has erred in the appraisal. You must
clearly show that the assessed value does not reflect market
value. The evidence should consist of sales of comparable
properties in your area or information on conditions not known
to the assessor. You must supply adequate documentation to
support your claim if your appeal is based on conditions of
which the appraisers were not aware. For example, the land
will not percolate or is not suitable for building. You may
also request copies of comparable sales information the assessor
used to value your property. You do not have to be represented
by an attorney to appeal your property assessment.
You may appeal the
County Board's decision to the State Board of Tax Appeals.
Like the County Board, the State Board only considers questions
of value. Property owners can also pursue litigation
Questions about appeal
procedures can be directed to the County
Board of Equalization or the Assessor's