Top 4 ways to win a property tax protest

The Board of Equalization hears protests from property owners in Douglas County throughout the month of June. The board has a goal to be fair and accurate. Identifying errors on the assessor’s valuation located at www.dcassessor.org should be your first step. Pay particular attention to square feet, number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and garage spaces.

The second most assured way to win a protest is the evidence of a recent sale showing your home was unable to sell at the assessed value. A copy of the appraisal should be enough to convince the appraisers making the recommendation to the board. A recent appraisal from a refinance will will work as well. Purchasing an appraisal independent of a sale or refinance is allowable but the costs for such may out weigh any benefits.

Third, photo evidence of deteriorating conditions and/or contractor estimates for repairs can show your home is inaccurately compared to the nicer homes in your neighborhood. Structural damage, basement issues, neglected kitchens and bathrooms are all items the assessor may not be aware of.

Lastly, if a recent sale of similar home in the neighborhood sold for a considerable difference between sale price and your tax value you might have a case of fairness. You will have to do more research to identify a pattern of comparable sales selling less than your tax value.

Once a protest if submitted to the Board of Equalization, a team of licensed appraisers will review each protest on a case by case basis and submit a recommendation to the board. If you fail to win a change in value from the county board there is one final chance with the Nebraska Tax and Equalization and Review Commission.

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