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November 7, 2023

Trump Fraud Trial Puts Spotlight on the Randomness of Property Assessment: #RethinkTheNews

As the retail landscape faces a reconning with online shopping, municipalities have to devise creative ways to maintain property tax revenues. Should large big box retailers be shouldering the burden?

The Trump fraud trial in New York is occupying center stage in the US media right now. Whether one agrees or disagrees with the proceedings, the fact remains that the former President is in court right now in a no-jury trial fighting allegations that he inflated the value of his assets to secure loans from lending institutions.


More than anything, this legal dispute demonstrates the subjectivity in arriving at accurate valuations for real estate assets. Someone outside this industry might think that property values are easily standardized with objective criteria. The reality is far more complex. In this case, the prosecution alleges the techniques used to value the properties in the Trump Organization’s portfolio were misleading. It is up to the judge to determine whether punitive measures will be imposed.

Why does a case like this make it to trial in the first place? Mainly, it has to do with the fact that when it comes to determining accurate property assessments, whether it is a portfolio owner, a lending institution, or city assessors for that matter, the techniques used in making those valuations are often non-standardized. You could even use the word “random” to describe the variety of techniques used to determine property values.  

From a lender’s viewpoint, it could be a case of resources. It takes more than just access to data to conduct the kind of due diligence required to achieve even a degree of certainty when evaluating values submitted by property owners. Even if the lender has all the pertinent data, they simply may not have the tools capable of scrutinizing that data.

When it comes to determining valuations for commercial property tax purposes, the techniques used by assessors and portfolio owners may be just as imprecise and misaligned as they may be using different techniques altogether. Again, the main purpose of this piece is simply to shine a light on the fact that, occasionally, the disparity between property assessment techniques and values can be so significant that even seasoned property valuation professionals are left arguing and scratching their heads.  

The problems revealed by this case speak to the heart of what the Rethink Solutions team does every day. itamlink software is purpose-built and designed to provide certainty and precision regardless of the property valuations technique you choose. Assessors may issue notices reflecting a valuation that property owners consider high; they simply don’t have the tools that drill down to the level of certainty that can be achieved by itamlink. In the complex world of property tax management, itamlink empowers property owners and operators to determine, with data-backed precision, where they have a valuation that merits appeal. With greater precision comes greater predictability—and defensible valuations data too.  

If you get excited at the idea of having “more control over your property tax expenses than ever before,” we encourage you to Request an itamlink Demo.  

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© 2023 Rethink Solutions. All Rights Reserved
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© 2023 Rethink Solutions. All Rights Reserved