Thursday, July 15, 2010

Board of Review Reduced Valuation by 56%

Pay 2011 Valuation Reduced 56% by Board of Review

When you get your property tax valuation notice there is a little blurb about attending the local board of review in a few weeks. My limited experience with the Local Board of Review is that its typically the City Council who typically rubber stamps their assessor's value.

You need to submit to your Local Board of Review first to appeal to the County Board of Review. While I can't speak for other counties, I was impressed with both the process and the Board in Hennepin County. Each Commissioner appoints a representative. The only one I recognized is a former city councilman. From listening to comments I figured there was a developer, couple realtors, not sure about the rest.

Public speaking skills are important in this process. I had 10 minutes to present my case and a Hennepin County Assessor had 5. We each submitted written reports. A lawyer buddy commented that it would be hard to present a shopping center in 10 minutes. The process may not be appropriate for complex properties. On the other hand, the Board of Review forces the assessor to respond on a timely basis; but the property owner must be ready as well.

The Board was very engaged and asked lots of questions. From their questions and comments, the result, mailed 2 weeks after the hearing, came in exactly where I thought it would:

The original assessment was $1,378,900. Hennepin's assessor came to the board with $1,039,000. I came in with $532,000. The board ruled at $600,000, a 56% reduction.

The Board of Review vs Property Tax Court.

Board of Review
Tax Court

Couple weeks
Can be couple years

Around $380 w/service

Can Appeal?
To Tax Court
To Court of Appeals

Presentation Time
10 minutes
As long as you need

Attorneys Needed?
Not at all
Highly Recommended

Can they raise the value?

Values change on website

I have been told by a developer client that when it came to financing, appraisals tend to come in at values listed on the County website. This is completely inappropriate but I see inappropriate appraisals all the time. So its something to consider when deciding whether the board of review process makes sense for you because the revised value may be published on the County's website.

I really liked The County Board of Review process, especially as I have one county that is still dragging their feet on Pay 09' petitions. I plan to at least consider it next year for all the cases I review for Pay 2012.

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