PROCESS FOR APPEAL OF PROPERTY’S VALUATION
- The Board of Equalization is a 9 member board made up of selections from local school districts, cities and incorporated towns, the County Judge, and the County Quorum Court (A.C.A 26-27-304)
- The first step in the property tax appeals process is to set up an informal meeting with the contracted reappraisal firm. You will be able to discuss your property’s valuation and assessment with a real estate appraiser, by calling 479-424-2624. The current reappraisal firm conducting the valuation of Sebastian County is TASC (Total Assessment Solution Corp).
- If you are not satisfied with the results of the informal appeals process, you may schedule an appointment for hearing before the Board of Equalization (BOE). You can download the petition to appeal assessment or you may reach out to the Sebastian County Clerk’s office by calling 479-782-5065, to schedule your appointment. Deadline to file a petition to appeal assessment is the 3rd Monday in August each year.
- If you are still unsatisfied with the hearing process before the Board of Equalization (BOE), you may appeal to the County Court of Sebastian County, presided over by the County Judge. You may schedule this hearing through the Sebastian County Clerk’s office.
HELPFUL HINTS IN APPEALING YOUR PROPERTY’S VALUATION
- Make sure to scrutinize the accuracy of the assessor's information for obvious errors. For example, if the assessor accidentally added an extra living area in the assessment of the property, this could greatly increase the value and tax burden of the property. Owners should also request copies of the comparable sales information the assessor used to value their property. Examine these documents and closely compare their property's assessed value and those of nearby properties. Since property valuation only includes exterior inspections (unless invited by the property owner(s)) a valuation challenge may be successful if the appraisal overlooked hidden conditions such as a pest infestation, a cracked foundation, or other undesirable environmental conditions. These factors could adversely lower the property's value, and hence adjust the owner's appraisal downward.
- In most cases, the best evidence of property value is comparisons of recent property sales within the same neighborhood. Because this is public information, it is not difficult to obtain; however, analyzing it and applying it to the owner's particular situation can be difficult. For example, the motivations of buyers and sellers can influence sales prices, but this information is very difficult to obtain. If there are no recent property sales within the property owner's neighborhood with which the owner can make comparisons, the next best alternative is to check for areas of comparison between the owner's property, and property that is reasonably similar to it. Consider factors like location, style, age, square footage, lot size, number of rooms, and so forth.
- Remember that the burden of proof is on the owner/tax representative. Be sure to collect and include any data that would be pertinent to the overall valuation of your property