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How can I prepare for my property tax appeal?

Real estate law has a lot of ins and outs, but one that touches every property owner is property taxes. And, as real estate values have soared, so have many property owners’ property taxes. This explains why so many are now appealing their real estate tax bills.

Step 1: follow the rules

First, when you get your Juneau, Alaska, property tax bill, there will be instructions on how to appeal. You must follow those instructions to initiate the property tax appeal. Next, when you get your property tax appeal notice with the date of your appeal, there will be additional instructions on how to conduct your appeal.

This will include what to bring, how to present your evidence, the number of copies required, whether electronic submissions are mandated or acceptable, etc. Again, you must follow these instructions. If you fail to follow any of the rules or requirements, your evidence may be thrown out or unusable.

Step 2: figure out what you are appealing

Now that you know what to do, the next step is to figure out what you are appealing. Is your appeal based on the actual value of the real estate, some special value or an equalized taxable value? Whatever you are appealing will dictate the evidence needed.

Step 3: documentation

Your value evidence will be, at least, partially documentation. This could be a Juneau, Alaska, appraisal, official appraisals from the County Tax Assessor themselves, photographs of property damage, etc. Make sure you have everything you need to prove your case, but remember, you can use other types of evidence as well.

Step 4: witnesses

If you are planning on using an appraisal, you will need to have your appraiser present for the property tax appeal. There will be questions about it, and the county will likely make some objections. Without the appraiser, the county may be able to get the appraisal disqualified or thrown out.

Step 5: organization

Finally, organize your Juneau, Alaska, case. Decide how you will present your evidence, argument and witnesses. You need to have a game plan and be ready for questions. While the property tax appeal process is not a court case, the process looks a lot like it. There are two sides arguing for their preferred conclusions utilizing evidence, and the appeal will be decided by a third party or parties, depending on the state and county.