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The Tax Man Cometh

If you own property in Pima County, watch your mailboxes as the
2017 NOTICES OF VALUE will be arriving any day now !! The second biggest regular expense for property owners, after the mortgage, is property taxes. Whether you have residential property or commercial property (or both), you need to pay close attention to the value that the County Assessor assigns to your property. In most cases, this value can be appealed in order to lower your annual taxes. In fact, in some cases, a successful appeal will result in a decrease in taxes for a two year period. Also, sometimes prior years can be appealed.

So, what do you do when the notice(s) arrive? There is a sixty day window to submit an appeal to the Pima County Assessor’s office (look at the NOTICE for the expiration date). While you can certainly file an appeal yourself, we have found that this job is best left to a professional. They are generally much more knowledgeable about the process, the best methodology for illustrating an appropriate valuation, as well as having up to date knowledge of tax legislation that may affect the way our properties are valued.

At Ashland we submit the Notices of Value for ALL of our properties, and, for those we manage for others, to our tax consultant for review. There are a number of very good tax appeal consultants in the Tucson area. After they have reviewed the Notices and gathered certain information about the property, they will advise you as to whether you should file an appeal. At that point they take most of the work out of it for you. They will fill out and submit all the forms prior to the due date. If the Assessor requests a meeting, they will attend it on your behalf and argue your case. If the Assessor denies the appeal, the taxpayer has the right to administratively appeal the Assessor’s decision to the Board of Tax Appeals. If this appeal is unsuccessful, the taxpayer may file a lawsuit with the Arizona Tax Court.

In an upcoming issue we will share the process for appealing the Assessor’s decision through the court system. In the meantime, consider contacting a reputable firm for their assistance. If you are already Ashland’s property management client, we do it on your behalf. If there is any downside, we consult with you before we proceed.

Best of all, fees are generally based on a percentage of tax savings, so very often there are no out of pocket expenses to file an appeal. Be sure to consult each firm for their fee structures and policies. Also, consult with them on any potential downside of appealing.

 

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