Author: Financial Awakening Blog
We talked about how to file the first official complain against MPAC in the last article by sending them a request for reconsideration. The result you get is most likely a reject or they will offer you a minor reduction in assessment. I need to repeat here that if you think the reduction is too low. DO NOT ACCEPT THE OFFER! Once you accepted the offer, it is really difficult to ask them to reduce further later on. In order to get a realistic and fair assessment of your property, you will have to file an appeal with ARB, Assessment Review Board.
It surely will scare off a lot of people once they know that they need to go to court and attend a hearing. However, what need to be done has to be done. If you are willing to be treated like a piece of cake that anyone can get a slice of you; if you have a lot of extra money you don’t know how to spend, then keep silence and never complain about how expensive your property tax is. Once you started the process, you may even find that it is interesting and it is going to be a good experience to you.
As I mentioned in the last article Fighting Assessment with MPAC, you can file an appeal with ARB right away if the property in question is indeed a commercial property. The deadline is again March 31. For residential properties, you will have to send in the request for reconsideration to MPAC first. Please note that you cannot file an appeal with ARB right away after you send in the request for reconsideration to MPAC. You will have to wait for a reply from MPAC before you can file the appeal. The dealine to file an appeal with ARB is 90 days from the mailing day of MPAC’s request for reconsideration decision.
Unlike request for reconsideration, which is free, you need to pay $75 for residential and $150 for commercial to appeal in ARB. Luckily, there is a $10 discount if you file the appeal online. Here is the link to E file the appeal.
- Click on Start button
- Tax Year would be the current year that you want to lower the assessment so that your property tax will be lowered. For example, I will put 2012 as of the time I write this article. (Please note that you will still have to pay for the property tax first to prevent any penalty.)
- Are you filing appeals as a representative? No. Because you are filing this yourself as a owner.
- Are you choosing someone to represent you? No
- Enter the roll number and choose you are the owner.
- Proceed to pay.
- Make sure you keep a copy of the confirm page in your record.
Prepare for the hearing
There are 2 streams of hearing. The direct stream or the case managed stream (Pre hearing stream). The pre hearing stream is better for you, but ARB usually reserve this for the more complicated cases. You will most likely be scheduled with the direct stream.
Before going to the hearing, it is important to prepare for the fight. It is MPAC’s burden to prove that you are wrong. They will hand pick the sale data in their benefit to argue with you. You need to do some homework and hand pick the sale data that is to your benefit and request for information regarding those property from MPAC.
If you just purchased your home, you have a strong case. Consider the following points.
- it is arms length transaction
- it is publicly listed on MLS
- there is no goodwill on the property you purchase they may increase the value
Good luck with the appeal.
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