A: When looking for potential comparable sales for grievance and reappraisal purposes, you may not find suitable recent sales within your town. It is okay to use sales from nearby towns as long as that town’s real estate market is similar to yours. Look for sales from nearby neighborhoods that are similar in appeal and value to your subject property. The more unique the property, the farther you will likely have to go to find suitable comparables.
A: It is a good idea to look at the appraisal to gauge its validity for use in the grievance process. Here are some suggestions for determining whether the appraisal contains helpful information:
Read the appraisal report and make note of items of interest
Run through the math to see if the adjustments are legitimate and correctly applied
Reviews the comparable sales used (Are they the best ones or are there better ones?) Look for items about the property that of which you were unaware of
Remember: a bank (or fee) appraisal was not written or intended for tax valuation purposes.
The property owner may not have obtained permission from the appraiser to use the appraisal in that manner. Bank appraisals can be good tools as a piece- of-the-valuation-puzzle, but you will need to confirm that the data and methods are correct. They should neither be automatically discounted nor automatically accepted.
A: Excluded land is to be valued as that portion’s fair market value. When determining that portion’s fair market value you will need to be familiar with accompanying maps and take into consideration factors such as grade, wet areas, access, zoning, etc. Contact your district advisor if you have any questions.
A: You should update when a reappraisal is completed. At the time of reappraisal the Marshall & Swift cost information will be updated in your computer assisted mass appraisal (CAMA) files. The Marshall & Swift books (residential and commercial) should reflect those new cost tables in your computer. Do not upgrade your books in between reappraisals. If you do and you use updated figures (for new construction, for example), you will be applying values inequitably since everyone else will have values based upon the date of the latest reappraisal.
A: These categories tend to have changes every year – extending lines, improvements, etc. Bring their values up to fair market value and apply the common level of appraisal each year. You will receive inventory documents from the state annually in May. Contact your district advisor if you need help.
A: Knowing when to inspect a property for improvements can be a challenge when the town doesn’t require building permits. Interior changes are the most challenging, as most towns don’t require permits for interior improvements that don’t affect the square footage of the building. Here are a few suggestions to find out about work being done:
Be observant as you drive around town. Look for clues such as construction dumpsters and construction vehicles.
Listen for construction projects around town.
Real estate ads will often list recent improvements.
Drive around all of your neighborhoods to observe new projects: decks, outbuildings, additions, pools, etc.
A: Contiguous property is any land under the same ownership that has a connection point. For example: if someone owns land on two sides of the road and the property would have a connection point if the road were not there, it is contiguous. This applies to land with railways, interstate roads, streams, rivers, etc. running through it. Even if the land would only touch at a short point, it is contiguous. If there is a lake in between two parcels, it depends upon the size of the lake, but the land would likely not be considered contiguous.
A: The Subsidized Housing valuation process was crafted to allow the value, once determined, to remain the same until and unless the town reappraised all properties. However, there is nothing to prohibit a taxpayer from requesting a new appraisal of the property. Further, the property can and likely should be revalued if there is a substantial change, such as additional units, accelerated depreciation, etc.
A: It depends, trade fixtures are classified as the personal property of the owner installing them; they retain their chattel (an object of movable quality) character regardless of annexation. Elements for a trade fixture are:
Annexed to realty by the tenant.
Enables the tenant to carry on the trade or enterprise addressed by the tenancy contract.
Can be removed without material or permanent injury to the freehold (see Powell’s Treatise on Property, Section 57.06).
An intention that the annexation was not meant to be permanent.
Business personal property § 3618 Business personal property" means tangible personal property of a depreciable nature used or held for use in any trade, business, professional practice, transaction, activity, or occupation conducted for profit including all furniture and fixtures, apparatus, tools, implements, books, machines, boats, construction devices, and all personal property used or intended to be used for the production, processing, fabrication, assembling, handling, or transportation of anything of value, or for the production, transmission, control, or disposition of power, energy, heat, light, water, or waste. "Business personal property" does not include inventory, or goods and chattels so affixed to real property as to have become part thereof, and which are therefore not severable or removable without material injury to the real property, nor does it include poles, lines, and fixtures which are taxable under sections 3620 and 3659 of this title. So, if a fuel storage tank is owned by the owner of the real estate and is affixed in a permanent manner to the real estate, it is real property.