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Federal Way Property Tax Appeal Appraiser

Federal Way Property Tax Appeal Appraiser

How to Appeal a Property Tax Evaluation


Fox Business News Article: As property tax bills start arriving in mailboxes, many homeowners might be surprised to find their assessed evaluation is higher than they anticipated. According to the National Taxpayers Union, between 30 and 60% of taxable property in the U.S. is over-assessed. What’s more, middle- and lower-income taxpayers’ properties are among the most often over-assessed, yet fewer than 5% of taxpayers challenge their assessments…

For homeowners considering making an appeal, here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Weigh the Costs

Fees can vary by region, but homeowners can expect to pay anywhere from $300 to $750 for an appeal based on the type and complexity of the project, the market, and the appraiser’s experience level, according to Borges.

“This fee does not include expert witness testimony, although that is an additional service the appraiser can provide,” he says.

There will be additional filing fees if the appeal goes to the superior court, adding up to a few hundred dollars depending on the jurisdiction plus attorney fees.

It’s essential to weigh out the estimated cost of the entire appeal process (independent appraisal, court and attorney fees) in comparison to the difference in tax value the homeowner hopes to appeal, says Penning.

Step 2: Hire an Independent Appraiser

Homeowners can improve their chances of appealing their property tax assessment by hiring a certified independent appraiser. Having a real estate agent cite comparable sales in the area or market analysis won’t cut it, says Penning.

“[Independent appraisers] usually get three or four comparable properties and adjust them plus or minus because one property might have a little more square footage in the house than another…so that you’re comparing apples to apples and that’s why that appraisal is so important,” he says.

Having a third -party expert to provide credible, reliable opinions of the home’s value can help when it’s time to present the appraisal report to the local assessor.

Step 3: Comply with all State Laws, Deadlines, and Procedures

It’s important to contact local taxing authorities in advance of the deadline for appeals, and be prepared to present all documentation necessary.  Be aware that the time frame to appeal is usually brief, anywhere from 15 to 45 days from the assessment date.

“An appeal can take a long time from start to finish but you may only get a few weeks’ notice for your hearing date so don’t procrastinate on your homework.”


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