How do I appeal my property taxes?

Property Tax: FCV vs. LPV – What’s the difference?
August 19, 2014

What is a valuation appeal?

When you submit an appeal, you are not directly appealing your tax bill. Instead, you are appealing the assessor’s opinion of the full cash value of your property. If you are successful with your appeal, the assessor will lower your property’s assessed value or change its legal classification. This indirectly lowers your tax bill and gets you a refund for previously overpaid property taxes.

By far, the easiest way for homeowners to appeal their property’s value is to have an experienced property tax agent represent them. Alternatively, homeowners could attempt to go through the appeal process alone.

The appeal process has 2-4 steps:

1. file a Petition for Review, 2. meet with the Assessor’s Office (optional), 3. accept or reject the Assessor’s decision, 4. re-appeal to the Board of Equalization or go to Arizona Tax Court (optional).

Once you’ve decided that your property taxes could be overstated, you must first file a Petition for Review with the Assessor’s office of your particular county. This petition must be filed within sixty days of the date posted on your Notice of Value. In addition to basic information about yourself and your property, the petition should include:

  • Your opinion of your property’s value
  • The methods of valuation which you are using to justify your opinion of value. This is typically done through the market sales approach or the cost approach—though other methods are permitted
  • “Substantial information” to justify your opinion of value
  • A request to meet with the County Assessor (optional)

After you have submitted your appeal, you must await the Assessor’s decision. If you have requested a meeting with the County Assessor in your Petition for Review, you will have an opportunity to personally present your evidence to the Assessor’s office before they make their decision.

If your appeal is denied, you then have 3 options.

  1. You could accept the Assessor’s unfavorable decision.
  2. You could appeal to the Board of Equalization within twenty-five days of the mailing date on the Assessor’s decision. If your property is located in Maricopa or Pima County, you will appeal to the State Board of Equalization. If your property is located in another county, you will appeal to your county’s Board of Equalization.
  3. You could appeal to the Arizona Tax Court within sixty days of the Assessor’s decision.

The chart below illustrates the appeal process.

Arizona appeal process - Pinal County Assessor

Arizona appeal process – Pinal County Assessor

 

As you can see, the appeal process is relatively straight-forward, but it is also time consuming. Additionally, if your appeal is missing any information, or lacking in justification in any way, it will be rejected. You will then have to spend additional time and resources re-appealing to the State Board of Equalization or in Tax Court. Or you will have to abandon your appeal completely. This is why we highly recommend using experienced property tax agents, such as Anthony Liberatore & Associates, to handle the appeal process. Most of our work is performed on a contingent fee basis, which is depended upon the tax reduction and/or refund attained. In most cases, if we don’t save you money, our services are free.

Comments are closed.