Optimize your property tax assessment

Optimize has become a contemporary "buzzword." It can be meaningless, descriptive, or actionable. In the latter, it can indicate real-world consequences.

I would love to think everyone's property tax assessment could be optimized. However, that would be dreaming. The powers-that-be have decided that if the valuation process can statistically meet certain performance tests, it is "good enough."

What's "good enough" to them, is NOT good enough to me.

Those same taxing officials must provide you, the non-valuation expert, the opportunity to prove them, the valuation experts, wrong. When was the last time you went to a doctor for a diagnosis, and when (s)he provided it, you stated, "you're wrong!?"

Okay...what they're actually saying (under their breath) is hire a professional fee appraiser, spend a few hundred dollars, bring the appraisal to us, and we'll consider adjusting your property tax appraised value.

Let's see...via our property taxes, we pay the tax appraisers to appraise our property. They use their number to determine our tax bill. Now, if we believe their number is incorrect, they expect us to hire a professional fee appraiser to prove it. Alternatively, we could simply trust them and pay whatever the tax bill demands...

I prefer to optimize my tax assessment. After all, their appraised value was derived statistically...we all know the saying about statistics...

Optimizing the tax assessment can be done, by checking the description and details the property tax appraiser has used to value your property. I check their measurements by measuring my own buildings and comparing with what they have listed. Every detail and description they have placed on my property's appraisal card is scrutinized.

Over the years I've found so many errors on property tax appraisal cards, it wouldn't be realistic to keep a count. This should be the type of property tax reform that we demand action on first.

Even if a property owner doesn't want to spend time reviewing the details on their property tax card, they can still take an easy step towards optimizing their tax assessment...force them to correct the illegal disproportionality they are maintaining on their property valuation. However, I prefer the full monty!