Appealing real estate assessment in Mass
posted at 1/16/2010 3:50 PM ESTI'm appealing my 2009 RE tax to the Mass Appellate Tax Court. The town has grossly overestimated the tax which is much higher than a number of comparable properties in the area.
After doing some research and putting some numbers together I have appealed May of last year to the state and the hearing is now set for this Feb. Once notified of the hearing date, the town has taken another look and they're now proposing a number which is half way between what I was looking for and what they originally assessed the property at.
I feel the number is still too high as its still out of alignment with similar properties based on total living area, lot size, and condition of the property. I feel that the city doesn't want to go in front of the tax board.
Has anyone experienced the appelate tax board and if so, what would you recommend? Its clear the town's numbers are all over the place, and while I understand the assessment business is not an exact science, there has to be some consistency to how properties are being valued. It just seems from the numbers the town's model is all over the place.
I don't know the exact assessment model they're using, although its likely a mix of factors such as property age, interior/exterior/bath/kitchen condition, house/lot size, etc. I'm planning to ask for the exact model, going as far as invoking the Freedom Of Information Act if necessary.
Educated opinions and personal stories much appreciated.
Re: Appealing real estate assessment in Newton
posted at 1/17/2010 9:25 PM ESTIs there any chance that the appellate court could rule that the adjusted assessment (2nd assessment) from the City is too low, thus requiring you to pay more than the city was going to require you to pay after you brought the issue to their attention? Also, I don't think the city factors a homes interior condition into their assessments as that would require a city employee entering each and every house thereby costing time & money. Good luck, either way it sounds like a victory just by getting the city to adjust their figures!
Re: Appealing real estate assessment in Mass
posted at 1/17/2010 11:14 PM ESTYes, interior assessments are done on a regular basis based on the data from inspections and permits. They almost always start out being too high and only get reduced after inspectors get to go inside as a response to an appeal.
The challenge is the model used by the cities is not being applied consistently so 2 identical houses on identical lots may get 2 vastly different assessments.
We must fight for our money and never let the city over assess. Otherwise the city hall cancer will continue to spread.