If your company rents or owns a commercial property, especially in the uncertain economic times of today, any amount saved, even just a small one, on your property taxes can be a big help. Luckily, there is a process that property owners can use that may result in lower commercial property taxes, especially if you've never filed an appeal before.
In this article, we explain commercial property tax appeals, including “What is a Property Tax Appeal?” , “Can I Appeal my Property Taxes?”, “The Property Tax Appeal Process” , “Will I Win My Property Tax Appeal?” and Knowing Your Tax Resources.
What is a Property Tax Appeal?
When you appeal your property taxes, you’re not simply asking to change your tax bill. You are contesting the assessed value of your property. Your individual property taxes are determined based on the assessed value of your property, meaning if your property is assessed too high compared to its actual value, your taxes will increase as well. If you believe your property was valued too high and your taxes should decrease, a tax appeal may be an option.
Who Can Appeal Property Taxes?
Property taxes can be appealed by the property owner. However, keep in mind that the appeal process may be time-consuming, complex, require research and be subject to certain deadlines. It is recommended that you work with an experienced legal advocate that is familiar with the process to make sure the appeal will be worth it!
Property Tax Resources
Before you begin the tax appeal process, research your options. Look up local tax laws such as tax exemptions and deductions.
There are big breaks you may not be aware of! You may also want to research the value of nearby, similar properties to compare to the assessed value of your property.
If neighboring businesses are valued much lower than yours, that may be important evidence in the appeal process! Tax law is complicated, so during your research you may also want to reach out to a local expert who can guide you through it.
The Commercial Property Tax Appeal Process
If you’ve done your research on resources and are ready to see if your property taxes can be appealed, there are several steps to take to make sure the entire tax appeal process goes smoothly.
Determine your most recent assessed value. This can be done by obtaining property record information from the assessors office.
This is the official record of your property and can be found at the assessor’s office or website.
Check for mistakes on this card!
Correcting an error here could be the difference and help you fix your property taxes without the long process.
After finding your current assessed value, compare it with your research. How does it stack up against your neighbors?
Are you higher than the typical fair market value for the property? If you believe your value was determined unfairly, continue on to filing a formal complaint.
Will I Win my Property Tax Appeal?
There is no way to guarantee a win in every case.
However, there are several ways to make sure you have the strongest potential for victory in lowering your commercial property taxes.
First, gather the best possible evidence. If you want to win any argument, evidence is key. In a property tax appeal, there are a few pieces of key evidence to help your case.
When comparing similar properties, make sure you have printed copies of recent sales of similar properties, including photographs and evidence of the sales prices. You can also look for property cards for similar properties that were recently assessed.
Finally, you should also consider a third party assessment of your property. A third party assessment will help prove your value.
Commercial property tax appeals are a complex but important process. When many businesses need more help than ever, it is very important that property owners understand their right to appeal, and know how to use it when they need it. Reaching out to a legal professional can guide you through this important process and help you maximize your investment.
Residential & Commercial Property Tax Appeal Services
Appealing the property tax assessments on your commercial, apartment complex or other multi-unit property can potentially save you thousands of dollars, especially if you've never filed an appeal before.
Our attorneys have experienced appealing residential & commercial property taxes in Washington State, Alabama, Maryland and the District of Columbia. Schedule a free consultation to learn how Remus Enterprises Law Group aggressively advocate to lower your property tax payments.
If you're seeking to lower your residential or commercial property tax assessment on your real estate in Illinois, contact Serritella Law to schedule a free consultation.
Founder and Managing Partner
Solon Phillips, Partner of the General Litigation Group at Remus Enterprises Law Group, is an experienced legal professional with extensive experience working in large law firms while devoting much of his spare time in volunteer work in public service.