Monday, March 22, 2010

Skip the Board of Review

Skip the Board of Review

I spoke with a developer last week about his property taxes. While he agreed
the assessments were way too high, he had given up fighting them. The local
assessor wouldn't change the values. Then the developer went to the local
board of review which also resulted in no change.

Last year I attended a local board of review to represent 6 taxpayers.
Granted, many who protest their assessment in this venue, or any venue,
whine! I haven't found whining to be an effective strategy for ANYTHING. I
came to the meeting armed with well documented valuation reports. Results?
No changes to any of the properties at the Board of Review.

So the taxespayers filed Tax Appeals in Hennepin County. Hennepin County is
different than most of the other counties. There are 8 "super cities" where
there is a City assessor and Hennepin County is not involved in the appeals:
Bloomington, Brooklyn Park, Eden Prairie, Maple Grove, Minneapolis,
Minnetonka, Plymouth and Richfield. Many of the cities in Hennepin County
have hired Hennepin County to be their assessor. And some cities have hired
private individuals to be their assessors but Hennepin County handles the
appeals. And this is the category these 6 appeals fit into.

Hennepin County was great to work with. The assessor spent nearly a whole
day with me visiting the properties that the private assessor had valued. He
did very thorough research and these are the results of these 6 appeals:

1. House reduced $38,000

2. 5 Lots. No change, which is rare for me because I only accept appeals
that I believe I can get a reduction. The assessor and I used different
comps. And, while I still think his values are too high, he can support
them. All we can ask from the assessor is that they have solid data to
support their opinion of value. Its rare to find 2 appraisers arrive at the
exact same value.

3. Land reduced $373,000 or 49%.

4. Land reduced $95,000.

5. Land reduced $80,000

6. The big one: land reduced $817,000 or 65%!

And recall the Board of Review gave NO reductions on these properties.

Skip the board of review for your Pay 2011 values. And you only have until
April 30th to file a tax appeal for your 2010 taxes.

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