You cannot appeal the taxes on your property since the taxes are the result of the local budget process. You must pay the collector all taxes and municipal charges up to and including the first quarter of the tax year. Remember, the burden is on you, the appellant, to prove your assessment is unreasonable, excessive, or discriminatory. It is necessary for you to prove at the onset that your assessment is in error. It is also necessary for you to suggest a more appropriate value.
The taxpayer must be persuasive and present credible evidence. Credible evidence is evidence supported by fact, not assumptions or beliefs. Photographs of both the subject property (the property subject to the appeal) and comparables are useful in illustrating your argument. Factual evidence concerning special circumstances is necessary. For example, if the property cannot be further developed for some reason, evidence must be provided.
The most credible evidence is recent comparable sales of other properties of a similar type in your neighborhood. Remember, if you are going to discuss comparable sales, not less than three comparable sales shall be submitted to the Assessor, Clerk, and County Tax Board, not less than one week prior to the hearing if not included with the petition of appeal. Sales of all properties (SR-1A's) are available for your review at the County Tax Board.
Characteristics in Comparable Sales
Comparable means most of the characteristics of your property and the neighboring sale are similar. You should be knowledgeable of the conditions of the sales you cite including financing and be able to give a full description of the properties. Some of the characteristics making your property comparable are:
- Proximity to your property
- Recent sale price
- The same zoning use (e.g. duplex in a duplex zone)
- Similar age and style of structure
- Similar lot size or acreage
- Similar square footage of living area measured from the exterior