Assessing Assessments: Careful Evaluation Saves Managers and Owners Money

Article excerpt

Performing an annual review of real estate assessments provides property managers and owners an opportunity to control and possibly reduce a major operating cost--real estate taxes.

Real estate taxes can represent 15 to 20 percent of occupancy overhead costs. Property managers and owners can ensure their property is being valued in accordance with state and local standards by reviewing tax assessments annually.

Each state has its own statutory laws, court decisions and administrative rules or guidelines concerning how real estate is to be valued for purposes of property tax assessment. Managers and owners should become educated on their own or through a professional about the standards assessment authorities will apply to their real estate.

In addition, new exemptions are enacted at any time, and qualified property managers and owners are not necessarily notified about them. Owners and managers can research whether their real estate qualifies as partially or completely exempt from assessment and take necessary action if it does.

Step-by-step process

At times, real estate can be over assessed because of errors reported on the building size, land area, or other key fact. Property managers and owners should be sure the assessment review confirms that a parcel of real estate is optimally classified for property tax assessment and all factual property data is correct. …

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