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Is your commercial property assessment too high?

If you have not yet received the tax assessment for property you own, you can expect it in the mail soon. The assessment shows you the jurisdiction's estimation of the value of your property, which then determines the amount of taxes you will pay. Like many business owners, commercial property owners and owners who rent property, you probably want to keep your taxes as low as possible. This may be difficult to do if you receive an inflated assessment of your property's value.

Fortunately, you can take steps to appeal the assessment of the property you own. It may go without saying that the appeals part of the assessment process is just as complicated, if not more so, than every other aspect of property taxes and assessment. Nevertheless, if it is possible to reduce your tax burden, you may want to exhaust every possible opportunity.

Why appeal your assessment?

A successful appeal will involve demonstrating that the assessment of your property or properties is not accurate or is unfair. To do this, you may have to present evidence that the market value of your building is not reflected in the assessment you received.

Some reasons why you may have a case for requesting a lower assessment include the following:

  • The assessment does not accurately describe the square footage of the property, such as listing too many units or finished square footage that does not exist.
  • The assessor fails to note existing easements, such as a drainage or utility easement that could reduce the amount of your property that can be improved.
  • The document improperly describes the zoning of your business.
  • The assessment lists amenities or improvements that you have removed since the last assessment.
  • Your independent, licensed appraiser's expert opinion differs from the assessor's calculations.
  • The state assesses your property as significantly higher than the value of other properties in the area.

On the other hand, it could be that other businesses or property owners in the area also noticed a substantial and inexplicable hike in their tax assessments. You may be able to work together to obtain a reduction. With the right legal assistance, you may learn of Missouri laws that offer tax breaks for property owners under certain circumstances. You will also have an advocate to fight for a fair assessment of your property.

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