Monday, March 14, 2011

How to appeal your Arizona property tax valuation notice

[caption id="attachment_8800" align="alignleft" width="240" caption="Shocking Phoenix-area "Property Valuation Notice""][/caption]

Did you get your Maricopa County (Arizona) Property Valuation Notice in the mail yet? The Maricopa County Tax Assessor's office mailed their small, white postcards of love to 1.5 million property owners on February 25, 2011.  You should have received yours by now.

When you saw the assessed value of your home, did you shout out a string of really naughty words? Yeah, me too. Before you panic, here are several important things to remember about your Maricopa County Property Valuation Notice:

  1. The Full Cash Value (FCV) shown on the Assessor's postcard Notice is NOT what your property is worth on the open resale market;

  2. The Limited Property Value (LPV) is also NOT what your property is worth on the open resale market;

  3. You can file an appeal of the Valuation Notice, but afterwards your assessed Property Valuation could go up OR down; and finally,

  4. If you decide to appeal you must file the appeal by April 26, 2011.

The dollar value for your property shown by the Assessor probably dropped, a lot. You are not alone. Property values across the Maricopa County region are down 40% to 60% off their peak prices from 2006, with some older homes and outlying areas hit even harder.  Condos have been hit especially hard, with some condo conversions seeing 2011 sales prices that are 70% to 80% lower than their 2006 and 2007 peak resale prices.

More Information

More info on Number 1 & Number 2 above - The Property Valuation Notice value is used by the county Assessor to compute your property taxes. It is not a statement of what your property is "worth". Only a ready, willing and able buyer can help you determine what your property is worth. Although there's no guarantee, a lower value on the Assessor's form means that you might be paying less in taxes next year because of that little white postcard.

More info on Number 3 & Number 4 above - To file an appeal of your Maricopa County Property Valuation Notice, you fill out a fairly simple form from the Assessor's office on which you:

  • state what you think your property is worth,

  • include sales information on recently sold properties that you believe support your claim of value, and

  • submit your appeal by April 26, 2011.

The Maricopa County Assessor's website is fairly user-friendly and you can use it to find property sales close to and similar to your property.  Use the resale values of those properties to support what you think your property is worth.

Want Help?

Want a Realtor's help finding recent metro Phoenix property prices in your area for properties like yours? Contact me and I'm happy to help. Or do your own Detailed Property Search on The Phoenix Agents website (warning, search software is not for the timid... really, contact me and I'll help as much as I can).

For more information, you can read the County's cover letter that came with the Property Valuation Notice, or you can read the Assessor's complete explanation of the terms used on the Maricopa County Property Valuation Notice.