Spend more than 20 minutes in conversation with someone from Nebraska and you will come to know two things. One, you have a relative in common and two, property taxes are outrageous.
BUT, as our mothers taught us, complaining isn’t going to get us anywhere and it definitely won’t lower our taxes.
“The problem at this point is that there is a problem”
– Captain Obvious
The month of June is the only time homeowners are allowed to protest their assessed values to the Douglas County Board of Equalization. Over the past few years I have pioneered and developed a successful method for evaluating and protesting property tax valuations that my friends, neighbors and clients have come to rely on.
In my annually published guide to protesting your property tax assessment valuation I’ve broken the process down into four common sense, fact based steps to help homeowners in any Douglas County Nebraska neighborhood.
Before you begin, to take a deep breathe. The size of the valuation increase isn’t of consideration to the county assessor, only if it is accurate and fair. Consider yourself lucky if your valuation was admittedly low in prior years. For those facing increases this year, let’s get started…
There are Four Critical Areas to Successfully Win a Property Tax Valuation Protest
# 1 Clerical: Is the assessor’s property record factually correct?
Carefully review the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, square feet, and amenities on your report found online here www.dcassessor.org
# 2 Quality & Condition: Are the descriptions for Quality and Condition accurate?
Supply photos, contractor estimates, or insurance claims of any deferred maintenance, areas in need of repair, or worn out features of your home that are in need of attention (inside or out).
# 3 Equalization: Is your assessed value similar to your neighbors?
Research and compare the assessed values of other nearby comparable homes in style, size, and condition as posted online at www.dcassessor.org.
# 4 Valuation: Do recent sales of comparable homes support your assessed value?
Ask your favorite real estate agent to help provide a list of recent sales of comparable homes. Keep in mind the county takes into consideration homes from nearby neighborhoods, not just the one you are in.
Where to file your Property Valuation Protest
Licensed appraisers will act as a referee and review each protest. You may may file online, mail in, hand deliver, or set up an appointment with a referee. Meeting with a referee is not necessary and does not increase your odds of winning a protest. Details are provided in the link below.
CLICK HERE to register for a FREE real estate market report and Brian’s 2019 Protest Guide