How to Prepare for a Commercial Property Tax Protest

The commercial property tax protest is something a property owner should tackle each year. It’s a safeguard against imperfect county appraisal district (CAD) systems. It’s a way to make sure your appraised values align with market trends. Most importantly, it’s an opportunity to save your business thousands of dollars over time. And going in prepared is the best way to poise yourself for success. Read on for guidance aimed at helping you understand the information you should gather and steps you should take leading up to your commercial property tax protest.

Get a Handle on Applicable Deadlines
Just one overlooked calendar date can spell a swift end to your commercial property tax protest. Before digging in on the process, take a moment to understand your timeline. You generally have until May 15 (or 30 days following receipt of notice) to protest your valuation. If you’re eliciting protest assistance from a specialized firm, they’ll likely have another set of deadlines in place to ensure they have what they need to assist you as best they can. Mark any and all dates down someplace you won’t forget them — on your calendar, in your phone reminders and anyplace else that makes sense.

Gather Necessary Documents and Evidence
The commercial property tax protest process doesn’t operate on a he said/she said basis. You’ll need to present evidence as to why your assessed rate is higher than what it should be. Gather previous years’ assessments (including details surrounding prior protests), records of any appraisals, improvements or repairs you’ve made and even photos of the property itself. Because CADs typically streamline their processes with use of a system that appraises multiple properties at once, there’s a high likelihood that your commercial property is being compared against structures and standards that don’t make sense. Having hard evidence you can use to back up your argument can make a tremendous difference for your case.

Gain Assistance from a Team You Can Trust
Did you know property owners who enter into the protest process with representation see their bills reduced more than 50% of the time? By having an expert in your corner, you free yourself from time-consuming tasks such as documentation submissions, have someone to guide you through every stage of the process and can rest assured that, if any curveballs come your way, your team will have seen them before. On top of everything else, most firms don’t require payment until they’ve successfully lowered your rates. Talk with fellow property owners about companies they’ve worked with in the past, what their experience was like and whether they’d do business with them again. Then do your own research, seeking out firms online and scheduling calls to understand how they work.

The process of protesting your commercial property tax can seem daunting, but it can pay off in big ways. If you have questions about any of the above, or if you’re interested in doing business with Lane, feel free to contact our team. Our experts are always happy to help.