Abatement is the process by which valuations that are found to be excessive, in error, or illegal may be corrected.
The statutes provide that a property owner who believes his local property valuation is excessive must seek relief through a written request to the local assessor(s), made within 185 days of the date the tax was committed to the tax collector (which is usually shortly before the tax bill is mailed) stating the abatement request, and the reasons for requesting the abatement.
If the taxpayer is dissatisfied with the decision of the local assessor(s), he may appeal within 60 days to the county commissioners; further appeal may be to the Superior Court within 30 days.
In those municipalities which have adopted a board of assessment review, appeals which elsewhere could be made to the county commissioners must be made to the local board of assessment review. Except that appeal pursuant to assessment under Current Use Law is to the State Board of Property Tax Review.
Losing Right to Request Abatement
A taxpayer does not lose his right to request abatement because of failure to file a list of his taxable property with the assessor(s) unless he was specifically requested by mail by the assessor(s) to furnish a list, and failed to do so.
Presumption of Correctness
A property owner's personal opinion that his or her property assessment is too high is insufficient basis for granting an abatement. There is a presumption of correctness on the part of the assessor. In order to prevail, the property owner must submit some clear and convincing evidence that the property was overvalued by more than 10%.
The first process in appealing your assessment will be to set up an appointment with the office to review your valuation.
If you are still dissatisfied, you can fill out an abatement application, which is available in the Assessor's Office.
- Applicant must answer all questions completely and in sufficient detail.
- Applications with unanswered questions or with insufficient detail to provide an understanding of the problem will be returned with a request for further information.
- Refusal to supply requested information may invalidate applicant's right to appeal.
- Application must be filed within 185 days from tax commitment.
- State law now requires a taxpayer to pay either their current taxes or the taxes assessed in the preceding year by the due date in order to enter an appeal or continue an appeal.
- A property owner's personal opinion that his/her property assessment is too high is insufficient basis for granting an abatement. There is a presumption of correctness on the part of the assessor. In order to prevail, the property owner must submit some clear and convincing evidence that the property was overvalued by more than 10%. This may include, but is not limited to, any or all of the following:
- Evidence that the assessment is in error because of defective listing which would include dimensional errors, incorrect areas, nonexistent features, and for buildings, incorrect material or type of construction.
- Detracting features unique to the particular property that would not be apparent except on very detailed examination.
- Unusual change, damage, or deterioration of the property, occurring after the assessment of the property and which has not been self inflicted. Any resulting lowered valuation will not be applicable until the next April 1st.
- An independent appraisal is not always required but may be helpful in some cases. If used, the appraisal or appraisals must be done by a professional licensed appraiser specifically for the purpose of possible tax abatement. The appraisal must show that the appellant's property is more than 10% in excess of the market value of comparable properties as of the time period when the City Assessor conducted the most recent general review of property valuations.