Residential Property Tax Appeals
Siegel & Callahan began single-family work when owners of commercial and industrial properties we represented approached us to appeal the tax assessments of their homes. Our mission was to offer the same comprehensive treatment of residential tax assessments for which we were already known in our industrial and commercial appeals practice. Over the years, a broad spectrum of representation has emerged for single-family homeowners with a wide range of fees. Although we remain acutely cost conscious, our goal is not to be the least expensive but simply to be the best. Our clients find that the marginal difference in fees is more than outweigh the savings we achieve on their behalf.
There are two strategies that drive most single-family appeals: fairness and accuracy.
The bulk of single-family representation offered by our competition in valuation appeals is unconcerned with the accuracy of the tax assessment. Instead, the underlying question asked is whether the per square foot value of your property, as proposed by your local assessor, is in line with the per square foot values of other similar properties in your neighborhood and property classification. If a sufficient number of similar properties are assessed at a lower per square foot value than yours, we can bring a case forward that demands your assessment be reduced so that it is in line with others. Our proprietary software offers our clients unmatched rigor in the comparative analysis of your assessment. Additionally, this method of appeal involves no upfront costs. Unless we reduce your assessment, there is no charge for our services. However, if all of the assessments for property similar to yours is skewed high by the Assessing authorities, even a “fair” assessment may be too high.
Arguably, the strongest indication of what a property is worth is what a buyer, unrelated to the seller, is willing to pay for it. Accordingly, purchase price can be one of the strongest indications of value for a property that has been recently sold. However, for property that hasn’t had an active transaction within the past three years, the most accurate indicator of its value is likely to be an appraisal. We work with an elite corps of superior appraisers, providing restricted reports of value at no charge to our clients, so that they can determine whether purchasing an appraisal would be cost-effective for their appeal.
For most residential property owners, an appraisal simply isn’t worth the expense unless the value of the home exceeds $500,000. However, for homeowners with properties worth $750,000 or more, considering an appraisal is critical to offering our clients the most aggressive and thorough tax treatment possible.
For homes with a significant tax footprint, the success of an appeal often hinges on unique issues that set the property apart from others. Our treatment of homes with unique issues includes:
- ravine and bluff-constructed homes,
- homes with riparian rights,
- unique luxury condominium properties,
- floodplain issues,
- subterranean homes, and
- equestrian homesteads.
Drive, Focus and Care
We bring a level of persistence and diligence to residential tax assessment appeals that’s hard to match:
- comprehensive analysis of assessment data,
- thorough consultation regarding market value with top industry professionals,
- individual attention to the details of your appeal, and
- the persistent pursuit of your case through every available venue at both the county and state levels.
The result is the most aggressive possible representation of your claim.