September 10, 2015

How Assessors Incorrectly Classify Property to Overstate Values

Property owners should think twice when a real estate assessor calls their property “special.” In an article penned for National Real Estate Investor, David Suess, Faegre Baker Daniels partner, explained how real estate assessors “increasingly contend that manufacturing and other commercial properties are ‘special-use properties’” in an effort to inflate the property’s valuation and, as a result, extract more tax revenue for the local government. According to Suess, these classifications often rest on dubious ground, and taxpayers should push back on the assessment.

“When assessors increase assessments or defend excessive assessments by claiming that the property is special-purpose, taxpayers should request the evidence on which the classification and the valuation are based,” Suess wrote. “In many cases, taxpayers will find that such assessments lack support, conflict with generally accepted appraisal practices, and should be appealed.”

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