Tax Appeal

The Swartz Report: 2019 Valuation and Tax Appeal Updates

Tax AppealI recently returned from a trip to Des Moines to visit a client, look at a property in booming Ankeny, IA and met with a fee appraiser hired to review a property. This trip allowed for several hours of windshield time to process the various events currently happening in the property tax world. I thought this would be a good opportunity to bring you up to date in jurisdictions where we represent many of our clients.

Jackson County, MO (Kansas City, MO)

After receiving several thousand appeals for both residential and commercial properties, the county has closed the opportunity to appeal the current 2019 valuation (taxpayers were given the opportunity to appeal the valuation until September 3rd).

Hearings are now being scheduled with the Board of Equalization and should last into the 2020 tax year. This could create issues for taxpayers who will not have a chance to have the case heard before the end of the year as taxpayers must pay their taxes under protest (property taxes are due by December 31, 2019). We will be offering suggestions and working with our clients on how to go through the process of paying taxes under protest, and the importance of doing so.

Not only will the taxes be paid under protest, but the taxpayer must indicate the value they believe is the correct value and the corresponding tax amount. The Jackson County Treasurer must escrow the difference between the taxes owed on the tax bill and the opinion of taxes owed determined by the taxpayer. The county treasurer may not release those funds until the appeal has been resolved.

We will work closely with our clients who currently have pending appeals in Jackson County as well as those who have questions. The tax bills will be issued in November, so it is important to note the taxes must be paid under protest as an appeal may be dismissed without proper documentation showing the tax amount being challenged.

Johnson County, KS

We have recently received decisions from the Small Claims Division of the Board of Tax Appeals (values under $3,000,000 and all residential values).

Early indications show Johnson County is a tough place to win an appeal at the initial levels of appeal. Many of our appeals will proceed to the Regular Division of the Board of Tax Appeals but will incur legal and 3rd party professional fees (appraisals) that make an appeal to the Regular Division challenging for many taxpayers. These additional fees may dissuade taxpayers from continuing with an appeal. We will work closely with our clients to determine the potential tax savings versus the cost to continue an appeal, as we pursue appeals beyond the Small Claims Division.

Colorado, Iowa and Missouri (excluding Jackson County)

The informal and local level of appeals has concluded with many local boards closing their respective review sessions in June and July.

These states reassess valuations every odd year, so the values currently in place will remain until the next reassessment date of January 1, 2021, unless there are physical changes to the property (demolition or new construction).

We represent client’s interests in most states across the country. If you have questions about the appeals process in where you own property, please reach out to me directly as I would be happy to update you with the local rules and timing for appeals.

As always, I thank you the opportunity to represent your interests. Please email me with any questions or concerns you may have – dswartz@swartzaai.com

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