Let’s face it, property taxes and the Douglas County Assessor valuation process is a complete mess.
BUT, as our mothers all 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
Out of personal necessity and experience I have developed some extremely successful methods for protesting property valuations over the past ten years.
I have helped hundreds of friends, neighbors, and clients protest successfully with the tips I am about to share with you.
PROTEST & WIN! Read my 2017 article on property taxes here…
There are no secrets in this step-by-step guide. Just a common sense, fact based approach to help homeowners in neighborhoods all of over Douglas County successfully protest their property tax assessments.
Before you begin remember to take a deep breathe. The county assessor doesn’t take into consideration the size of increase, only if it is accurate. Try to remove all the emotion wrapped up in this hot topic. Your wallet or purse will thank me.
Four Critical Areas to Successfully Win a Property Tax Valuation Protest
Clerical: Is the assessor’s online report factually correct?
Carefully review the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, square feet, listed amenities on your report found online here www.dcassessor.org
Quality & Condition: Are the descriptions for Quality and Condition accurate?
Supply photos, contractor estimates, or unrepaired insurance claims of any dated or damaged interior or exterior home features.
Equalization: Is your assessed value similar to the assessed value of your neighbors?
Research and compare the assessed values of other comparable homes in style, size, and condition from your neighborhood or school district as posted online at www.dcassessor.org
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
or CLICK HERE to register for a FREE real estate market report for your neighborhood
Tips on Lowering your Douglas County Assessed Property Value
- A recent appraisal or closing statement from a home purchase or refinance will significantly help your cause.
- In 2017 the assessor’s office changed their accounting methods for the land portion of a parcel’s value. Unfortunately, there is very little publicly available data to argue against this new calculation.
- Preliminary assessed values are posted online in January, approved in May, protested in June, and due March and June the following year.
- Homeowners have until the end of February each year to informally provide the county with details supporting a different value from the preliminary value.
- Quality refers to grade of building materials (vinyl siding vs brick). Condition refers to age and upkeep of building materials (new vs old roof).
- Homeowners do not have to meet face to face with a Douglas County protest referee but can mail, email or drop off supporting material.
- All protests MUST use the cover sheet and supporting materials
Brian Carlin is a 20 + year veteran of real estate sales and home improvement with Nebraska Realty. His newly released blog The Sawdust Stories of a Home Improvement Addict is gaining attention nationwide. Brian can be reached at 402.630.9760 for real estate sales and speaking engagements.