What if I don't agree with my assessment?
Talk with the assessor. During this informal session you can learn how your assessment was made, what factors were considered, and what type of records are kept regarding your property. After this review, if I still think the assessment is incorrect, what can I do? The next step is to file an objection with the Assessor's Office. Your objection must be written and must be filed on or before the third Monday in May. Forms are available in the Assessor's Office. When you receive your tax bill in December, it is too late to file an objection. Paying your taxes under protest does not constitute an assessment objection unless you have first filed an appeal with the Board of Review.
What happens if I file an objection?
Your appeal will be assigned to an assessor from our office. To properly review the assessment, the assessor will need to go through your property. During the inspection, you can provide any information you feel will be helpful in reviewing the assessment. After the review, the assessor will recommend a value to the Board of Assessors, a group of supervisors responsible for reviewing all assessment objections. You will receive written notification of the Board's decision.
What is the Board of Review?
The Board of Review is a citizen panel, appointed by the Mayor. It is the Board's duty to hear evidence by the taxpayer and the assessor and to decide if the assessment is correct.
What evidence do I need to present to the Board of Review?
State law puts the burden of proof on the property owner to show that the assessment is incorrect. Keep in mind that your evidence must be strong enough to prove that the assessor's value is incorrect. Only relevant testimony given at the hearing will be considered by the Board. STATING THAT PROPERTY TAXES ARE TOO HIGH IS NOT RELEVANT TESTIMONY. You should establish in your own mind what you think your property is worth. The best evidence for this would be recent sales prices for properties similar to yours. The closer in proximity and similarity, the better the evidence. Another type of evidence is oral testimony from a witness who has made a recent appraisal of your property.
Does the Board of Review have the final say?
Appeals can be withdrawn or settled at any stage in the process. If you don't agree with the Board of Review decision, the next step is an appeal to the Circuit Court.
How do I appeal my assessment to court?
An appeal to the circuit court must be made within 90 days after notification of the decision of the Board of Review. The court will then make a decision based solely on the testimony that was presented to the Board of Review. When your case goes before the circuit court, the court will review the record that was created at your Board of Review hearing and make its decision.