Whenever you look to contest a decision that someone else has reached, your key line of investigation should be to assess how they reached their decision.
Local tax assessors have the job of assessing your property’s value. This is then fed into an equation by the local council to arrive at the figure printed on your tax bill. So the key question to ask is, how did they work out your property’s value?
Which method did they use?
There are three main methods assessors can use to calculate a property’s value. They are known as:
- Cost method
- Income method
- Sales method
Understanding which of those they used can help you make the same calculations and see if they come out the same.
Each method will likely give different answers, so they cannot just plump for the one method they know consistently brings in the largest tax bills. They need to be fair. Showing how some methods give a lower figure than other methods can strengthen your case.
When did they last visit your property?
A building left alone will deteriorate over time. Once you put people inside it, that can accelerate the process. External factors such as heavy traffic passing can further strain the building’s integrity.
If the local tax assessor has not visited for years, they may be basing your property’s worth on a higher standard than it really is. They must visit every five years, but you can request they come if things have changed.
What have they included in the valuation?
Not everything in the building is taxable. You need to make sure they have not overvalued your property by including non-taxable items.
Getting help to ask the right question will be crucial to giving your commercial property tax appeal the best chance possible.