Articles from 2012
Massachusetts will be sending out its Fiscal Year 2013 property tax bills within the next few months. These tax bills purportedly reflect the fair market value of the property as of January 1, 2012. The standard of fair market value is fee simple and not leased fee. The fee simple standard of value does not necessarily mean the price that the property could sell for. Some properties could sell for significantly more than they are assessed for and still be overvalued on a fee simple standard. For example if a property is fully leased to “A” rated tenants who have signed long term leases at significantly above market rental rates that property will sell at a leased fee price. That leased fee selling price will be at a premium above the fee simple value of the property because the buyer is guaranteed rents that are above market for years to come.
Most cities and towns in New Hampshire will be sending out their property tax bills before the end of 2012. These tax bills purportedly reflect the market value of the property as of April 1, 2012 multiplied by the median equalization ratio. If a taxpayer is aggrieved by the assessment he may file an Abatement Application with the local assessor by March 1, 2013. The assessor has until July 1, 2013 to make a decision on the Abatement Application. If the taxpayer is still aggrieved he has the option to file an appeal with either the New Hampshire Board of Tax and Land Appeals or in the Superior Court no later than September 1, 2013. At either the Board of Tax and Land Appeals or the Superior Court which ever forum the appeal is filed with, a hearing will be granted to determine whether or not the property is over assessed.
In Rhode Island many taxpayers have filed Applications for Appeal of Assessed Value with the local assessors contesting their tax year 2012 property tax bill. This filing was due within 90 days of the last day to pay the first installment of the tax without interest. For many cities and towns in Rhode Island that deadline is sometime in September or October of 2012. The Assessor has forty five days to review the appeal and make a decision. If the taxpayer is still aggrieved he may file with the Local Tax Board of Review within thirty days of the Assessor’s decision. If the Assessor fails to make a decision within forty five days of the filing, the taxpayer has an additional ninety days to file an appeal with the Tax Board of Review. If you have filed your Application for Appeal with the Assessor, watch for his decision or his failure to render a decision.
Most assessing jurisdictions in Rhode Island will be sending out their tax year 2012 tax bills soon. The assessing date for tax year 2012 is December 31, 2011. Most assessing jurisdictions revalue their real properties every three years and do not change their assessments between revaluations. If an assessing jurisdiction revalued as of December 31, 2010 for tax year 2011 the tax year 2011 assessment is the base year for valuation. It is the market value of the property in the base year that is pertinent. If a taxpayer wishes to appeal the current tax year 2012 bill that has an assessing date of December 31, 2011 on the basis of the property being overvalued, he must prove that the property was overvalued as of December 31, 2010. An Application for Abatement may be filed with the local assessor within ninety days from the date of the first installment of the tax is due.
The Massachusetts fiscal year 2013 will commence on July 1, 2012 and runs until June 30, 2013. Most assessing jurisdictions will issue their fiscal year 2013 tax bills between September and December of 2012. The fiscal year 2013 tax bills have an assessing valuation date of January 1, 2012. The assessment presumes to represent the fair market value of the property as of January 1, 2012. If a party is aggrieved by the assessment it may file an Application for Abatement with the local Board of Assessors. The Board of Assessors have three months from the filing of the Application for Abatement to act upon the Application. That three month period can be extended by the consent of the applicant. An applicant may appeal the decision or the failure to decide by the Board of Assessors by filing a petition with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Appellate Tax Board.
Most communities in Maine will be sending out their tax year 2012 tax bills this summer. The tax year 2012 has an assessing or valuation date of April 1, 2012. The deadline to file an Application for Abatement of Property Taxes with the local assessor is within 185 days after the date the tax was committed to the tax collector. This commitment date is usually but not always shortly before the tax bill is mailed. The standard of proof for obtaining an abatement in Maine is an onerous one. The taxpayer must prove that the assessment is â€œmanifestly unjustâ€. This oppressive standard of proof which creates a situation where working with the assessor before the filing of the Application for Abatement will often produce the most favorable results. This may entail providing the assessor with an appraisal or other work product before the filing of the Application for Abatement.
The New Hampshire Department of Revenue recently published its Tax Year 2011 ratio list. This ratio list is very important as it reports the mean and median assessment ratios of each community in New Hampshire as of April 1, 2011 which is the assessing date for Tax Year 2011. The filing deadline for Tax Year 2011 Abatement Applications was generally March 1, 2012. Applicants cannot be fully aware of the merits of their Abatement Application until they know the assessment ratio. To a certain extent applicants are operating in the dark until the ratio lists are published. In New Hampshire the market value of real estate is generally multiplied by the median assessment ratio in order to arrive at a proper assessed value. Due to a general decline in real estate values increasingly the assessment ratios are exceeding 100%. Thus the proper assessed value can be in excess of the market value.
Most jurisdictions in Massachusetts will be sending out their fiscal year 2012 actual property tax bills by the end of December 2011. The fiscal year 2012 pertains to the period July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012. The assessing date for fiscal year 2012 is January 1, 2011. For fiscal year 2012 each parcel of property must be assessed at the fair market value as of January 1, 2011. An owner, taxpayer or person who has an interest in the property in most cases has until February 1, 2012 to file an Application for Abatement with the local Board of Assessors. In most cases all property taxes must be paid timely without incurring interest in order to effectuate a valid appeal. The Assessors have 3 months to act upon the Application for Abatement. If the Assessors fail to act upon the Application it is deemed to be denied.
In Rhode Island a taxpayer must file an account with the local assessor by January 31st of each year. That account must sufficiently describe the property both real and personal as of December 31st. The taxpayer must claim a value of the property and the account must be filed under oath and notarized. A taxpayer may file a “notice to bring an account” by January 31st. If that taxpayer files a timely “notice to bring an account” the taxpayer’s deadline for filing the account is extended until between March 1st and March 15th. The taxpayer must file an account even if the assessor does not send out an account form. In most cases the timely filing of a valid account is a prerequisite to a valid future property tax appeal. Many taxpayers have lost their future right of appeal because they did not file an account timely or properly.