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[vc_column_text]Omaha Property Tax Infographic

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A fist pumping rant about the high property taxes or an emotional plea from dire financial circumstances are unfortunately not ways to effectively win a protest.

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Levy Example

The meat and potatoes of any effective protest will be based on one of two arguments. One, your assessed value is more than actual market value (valuation) OR two, your assessed value is greater than the assessed values of similar properties (equalization).

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Often times, if you find supporting evidence to support one argument the second argument can be supported by the same documentation. Having the right tools to identify and organize the any supporting documentation will be key to winning your protest.

The Valuation Argument: If you are thinking there is no way your home could actually sell on the open market for its current assessed value you have already begun to formulate your argument under the valuation principle. Recent sales data will be your supporting evidence for this claim. The good news is, all recent homes sales are recorded in one neat little program called the Omaha Area Board of Realtors locally supported MLS (Multiple Listing Service).

All you need now is a friend in the real estate business to crunch a few numbers on the Broker/Realtor only private website. If you fill out the form below we would be more than happy to send you a market review detailing recent sales in a 12 month period for your neighborhood.

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If you have recently refinanced or purchased your home and have an appraisal that supports a lower value, make a copy and send it in.
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Now, I have to be honest here. The current real estate market isn’t going to help your cause with a valuation based argument. Sales prices have gone through the roof in many neighborhoods. If the sale price of similar homes are more than your assessed value, you will need to move on to the second argument method.

Equalization Argument:

The supporting evidence for an equalization based protest is thankfully already at your finger-tips. If you haven’t already visited the Douglas County Assessor website www.dcassessor.org now would be a good time to do so. You may even find you enjoy being a bit of a tax value voyeur.

Once on the county website find Valuation Lookup & Mapping.

  1. On the left side under the “owner search” enter the House number.
  2. Next, enter the street Name
  3. Click submit
  4. Double click on the search results at the bottom of the page or the street map on the right side of the page.

Your challenge to win a value protest under the equalization argument will be to identify and compare the assessed values of similar properties. Yes, the childlike voice inside your head shouting “that’s not fair,” can actually help you win your protest. If similar homes in your neighborhood have lower assessed values, you have found your winning ticket.

Keep in mind the individuals that will be reviewing your argument are typically licensed appraisers. Make sure the homes you would like to use in comparison are as similar as possible to your own. Location is preferably in the immediate area, square feet and number of bedrooms should be very similar, as well as the style of home.

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Photograph any incomplete repairs, contractor estimates, even dated bathrooms or kitchens. Use this material to supplement any argument by showing the condition of your home isn’t as nice in comparison to other similar homes.
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Warning! Site visits by the county assessor may be requested, albeit rare.
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Some Final Thoughts:

County assessors use mass appraisal methods to establish individual property valuations. Trust me, it is extremely hard to establish value for a home never having set foot inside. The county assessor understands there is a lot of potential room for error.

Your valuation should be accurate and fair. Check your tax record for accuracy. Any mistakes on square feet, number of bedrooms or bathrooms, and the detail descriptions should be corrected. It is easiest to win a valuation protest with objective discrepancies but photographs and documentation showing sub-par condition are extremely helpful. Good luck![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]