“As we work through the backlog of property assessment appeals, I am happy to announce our office has negotiated settlements in more than 400 of the 744 cases pending before an administrative law judge,” Property Assessor Rob Mitchell said. “We are working diligently to clear the backlog and to get back on track with our four-year reappraisal cycle.”
Mitchell explained most of the appeals were for commerial properties, which were hit hard by the economic downturn.
“The residential sector got hit hard, but commerial real estate got hit too,” he said.
Mitchell said normal years only see 10 to 12 appeals, but with the economy the way it was in 2010, the property assessor had more appeals than during a usual reappraisal year.
Companies bottomlines were hurt by the economy, and many filed property assessment appeals after the 2010 appraisals. Mitchell said they did this to hold their property tax burden in place until the appeals were settled.
Property owners can file an appeal with the Board of Equalization, which is an independent body that hears appraisal disputes between property owners and the property assessor. While an appraisal is under review, property taxes are calculated from the previous appraisal.
“That’s why I encourage people to file an appeal, so we can look at it and get it right,” Mitchell said.
With tax bills slated for distribution on Oct. 1, Mitchell encourages every property owner to consider filing an appeal should any bill be suspect.
“If you have a concern, I encourage you to contact our office at 615-898-7750,” Mitchell said.