Tax reps who want to lower your tax bill – even if you don’t have one

As anyone who owns property in Shelby County knows, 2013 is a reappraisal year.

During reappraisal years, the Shelby County Assessor of Property updates property values throughout the county. For years, it’s been the norm that property owners will automatically file an appeal, forcing the assessor’s staff to defend the new values, because the property owner has nothing to lose. If they win a reduced property value, it cuts their tax bill.

A letter sent out from the Glanker Brown law firm last week gives some insight into this. Tax representatives are naturally eager to represent clients in appealing their values to the assessor, but the Glankler Brown letter was even addressed by name to some potential clients who don’t actually own property.

“You may have already received your notice of reappraisal from the Assessor’s Office,” the letter reads. “Many people throughout the county have indicated dismay at the values reflected on these notices given the overall status of the real estate market in the past several years.”

The letter does not note that the assessor has publicly stated on several occasions that the economic slump of recent years will be reflected in the county’s aggregate tax base as a result of this reappraisal – in short, that the county’s tax base will shrink somewhat because of lower values.

The letter goes on:

“We have considerable experience in handling all steps of the appeal process and would greatly appreciate the opportunity to review your recent Notice of Reappraisal to determine whether there is anything that we can do to assist you in obtaining a lower appraised value and assessment than recently placed on your property.”

Dansette

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