In a recent news story, it was revealed that the local assessor had implemented a 30% blanket increase in assessment on every home within a small community. We coined the term assessed value manipulation for a reason. This behavior is actually illegal but the grey areas of assessment allow assessors to get away with this type of behavior as long as they can prove that the homes they used as comparables all fall below where they should be valued. I can “cherry-pick” homes in any neighborhood to support this type of valuation but that doesn’t make it right. Assessors are charged with looking at the bigger picture not just what supports an assessment increase.
If a local government wants to increase revenue, they simply need to take a vote of record and increase the tax levy. Sounds easy enough, right? But then they are on record for raising taxes and I don’t know many politicians that want to be known as the tax increase guy or gal. The other option is to increase assessed value and hope that the homeowners don’t notice. Crafty plan isn’t it?
The simple fact is that it is easier to correct assessed values that were improperly inflated with a blanket increase than to explain why you want to vote to increase a tax rate.
Will you accept this behavior or will you appeal your assessment?