County Appraiser Market Data Is Not Always Correct

Real Estate values are what determine a property owner’s share of the taxes, which supports schools, fire and police departments, and other government services. The property value is typically set by your local county appraiser’s office. The county appraiser is responsible for valuing property in a uniform and equal manner, defined as the “market value” of the property. Market value is defined as “The most probable price, as of a specific date, in cash or cash equivalent for which a specific property would sell after reasonable exposure in a competitive market.” It is important to note that the appraiser does not set taxes, but only the market value of a property.

County appraisers use a mass appraisal system, where they value all properties with similar characteristics the same; however, this is not always the best method of valuation and can result in errors by the appraiser’s office, resulted in a higher tax liability for the property owner. PTAG specializes in obtaining and reviewing specific property specifics and data in order to identify areas where the appraiser has errored in their valuation.

PTAG will perform an onsite inspection with local property management, prepare an appraisal analysis using the three approaches to value: coast, income and market sales. PTAG will develop a market value conclusion and compare it to the appraiser’s market value to determine if an appeal opportunity exists.

After the appeal is filed, PTAG will typically have an informal hearing with the appraiser’s office. At this meeting, PTAG will present evidence which supports a lower value on the subject property. Should PTAG not be satisfied with the results of the informal meeting, an opportunity to present to the local Board of Equalization, an independent third-party board, will occur. Typically, most appeals are concluded at either of the first two levels of appeal and are resolved in a manner satisfactory to PTAG and our clients. Should a further appeal be required, a further appeal to the state level or judicial courts will be filed.

Once the appeal process is completed, PTAG will provide the client a summary of the results of the appeal and support for any reduction in value achieved.

Changing Personal Property Tax Laws Lead to Overpayment

Personal Property tax is a tax imposed by a state, county or municipality on capital machinery, furniture, computers and other tangible, non-real estate business assets. Personal Property tax is uniquely based on the asset owner’s reporting methodology as submitted to the local taxing jurisdiction. The assessor will calculate the tax based on this tax form.

Unfortunately, overpayment of this tax is the rule rather than the exception. This often results from the continually changing state personal  property tax codes. Each state has specific codes and without knowledge of current reporting requirements, overpayment of this tax will likely occur.

Property Tax Advisory Group’s (PTAG) experienced property tax professionals review and analyze the tax preparation methodology.  Areas of review include exemptions, code changes, asset economic life and a unique method of cost segregation developed by PTAG. The analysis may also include inventory analysis, leased equipment, market value analysis and pollution control exemptions.

Once validated by the assessor, PTAG will provide the client with a detail report documenting these adjustments.  This becomes the basis for future reporting and will generate tax savings as long as the client owns the assets.

As your partner in profit enhancement, PTAG will continually seek to find new opportunities to increase your bottom line, allowing your company to focus on its core business.