You’ve done it. You’ve reviewed your property tax assessments, determined what to appeal, and filed. Now, you need to have the systems and processes in place to manage all of the appeal documentation, dates, notes, and other relevant data. Are you feeling confident in your appeal management strategy?
Property tax software can help you manage the entire appeal management process, including keeping track of important dates, estimating tax savings, and logging refunds, offsets, and fees. To help you make sure nothing slips through the cracks, we’ve consolidated three components of an effective property tax appeal management process.
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Overview: The Appeal Management Process
Of course, the first step is to determine which assessments to appeal and file accordingly. While we won’t cover that here, you can check out our blog post on leveraging technology to identify property tax appeal opportunities for helpful tips and resources.
There are three key components to effective property tax appeal management:
- Tracking appeal information: Tracking relevant data points such as year, status, and filing date, as well as appeal events. The latter may include things like meetings with assessors, inspection dates, hearing dates, and other important deadlines.
- Estimating tax savings: Modeling possible savings scenarios, whether a refund is offered or not.
- Tracking refunds, offsets, and fees: After the appeal decision has been made, tracking the refund or offset as well as any fees you’ll need to pay to lawyers, consultants, or other third parties.
We’ve gone into more detail on each of these points below.
1. Organize Your Key Appeal Data
While it varies by organization, there are key items that should be tracked regarding your property tax appeals. Below are some key data points you’ll want to track:
- Filing date
- Appeal status (e.g. open, closed)
- What appeal events you’ll have to attend (e.g. meeting, hearing, inspection, etc) Location, dates, and timesof appeal-related events
While this list is not exhaustive, it’s important to remember that each appeal has a considerable amount of information and data that needs to be tracked.
2. Estimate Your Potential Tax Savings
Once you have your appeal data organized, it’s time to move on to estimating tax savings. You’ll want to make sure you’re carefully tracking data here, too, as accuracy is critical for measuring the performance and outcomes of your appeals, as well as setting go-forward budgets and forecasts.
To get a sense of all possible outcomes, you’ll likely want to run the numbers for various scenarios, such as your expected and final/settled case.
3. Track Refunds/Offsets and Manage Fees
Once an appeal decision has been made, you’ll want to make sure you log relevant information:
- What was the final appeal decision?
- How much was the total refund or offset?
- When can you expect to be paid?
- Did you incur any consultant or lawyer fees and, if so, how much were they?
Ideally, you’re using a software like itamlink so that data can be accessed by team members who need it, as well as be used in future projections, appeal decisions and payment of fees to third parties (noted above).
Appealing your assessments is an important aspect of your property tax management strategy. While appeals inherently have a lot of dates, data, and documentation to keep in order, an integrated software solution can streamline the appeal management process and make sure you maximize your portfolio value. Tools like itamlink come equipped with tools to track dates and deadlines, conduct cost savings analyses, and easily manage fees, refunds, and offsets.