The Douglas County Assessor Diane Battiato supposedly tried to prevent panic and sticker shock with the new property valuations this year.
But, if you are like me, a quick look online at your property record was nothing short of a heart attack worthy of an ER visit.
Battiato admitted in a January 16 Omaha World Herald article that she couldn’t say how may properties would see valuation increases or where those homes were located, further describing she only wanted to touch, AND I QUOTE, “as few properties as possible.”
If that isn’t a recipe for disaster I am not sure what is.
It is rather obvious the appraisal methods used by the county assessor are completely broken. This problem was not created by Battiato, nor Roger Morrissey before her. The problems have been an institutional failure for years.
BUT, as our mothers all taught us, complaining isn’t going to get us anywhere and it definitely isn’t going to lower our assessed values.
Thankfully there are some tried and true methods for appealing your property values with the assessor’s office.
I have helped hundreds, protested over a dozen times personally, and given advice to thousands of my clients and associates over the past ten years.
Here are some quick tops on how to protest your property values in 2018. Stay focused on these tips and try to remove all the emotion wrapped up in this hot topic. Your pocket book will thank me.
Four methods to correct your Douglas County assessed property value
Is the assessor’s parcel report Clerically correct?
# of bedrooms, bathrooms, square feet, listed amenities
Are the descriptions for Quality and Condition on your parcel report correct?
supply photos of any condition discrepancies
Is your assessed value Equal in comparison to that of your neighbors?
Research the values of all comparable homes in style, size, and condition your neighborhood.
Do recent sale Values of comparable homes support your assessed value?
Ask your favorite real estate agent to help provide a list of recent sales (or call me)
Tips on Lowering your Douglas County Assessed Property Value
(besides stop complaining and take action)
- A recent appraisal or closing statement from a home purchase or refinance will significantly help your cause.
- Provide photographs showing poor or average condition such as deferred repairs, property damage, even dated bathrooms or kitchens.
- In 2017 the assessor’s office changed their accounting methods to account for the land portion of a parcel’s value. Unfortunately, there is very little publicly available data to argue against this new calculation.
- All 2018 assessed values are preliminary until mid-May. You have until the end of February to provide the county with details supporting a different value.
- Homeowners can mail, email, or drop off any materials to the Douglas County Assessor’s office
Douglas County Assessor
Attn: Preliminary Valuation
1819 Farnam St.
Omaha, NE 68183
(to schedule an appointment before February 9, 2018)