Nebraska Property Tax Appeals & Important Dates
Consulting an experienced property tax advisor at Savage & Browning may make the difference in a successful reduction of your real estate taxes in your Nebraska county appraiser valuation appeal.
Most property owners fail to protest their property’s valuation because they aren't aware of their options, don’t understand the complicated process, or have access to the resources to substantiate a claim stating their property is overvalued. Our experience allows us to effectively analyze your property’s value using one or more of the established valuation approaches. We have a proven history for successfully reducing valuations for a diverse range of property types.
We represent Nebraska property owners in their county tax appraisal appeal. We have won successful real estate property tax reductions for our clients in Douglas County, Lancaster County, Sarpy County, Hall County, Buffalo County, Dodge County, Scotts Bluff County, Madison County, Lincoln County, Platte County as well as in every corner of even the smallest Nebraska county.
We often are able to find more compelling reasons for reduction and additional favorable comparable properties to support the appeal in the more urban areas of Omaha, Lincoln, Bellevue, Grand Island, Kearney, Fremont, Hastings, Norfolk, Papillion and Columbus.
Fair Market Value by County Assessors
In Nebraska assessors in each county are responsible for valuing all property January 1 of each year. Properties are appraised in the most fair manner possible and are based on 100% of actual value except agricultural land which is valued at 75% of actual value. Nebraska requires that real property be valued uniformly and proportionately.
Assessors are required value property as of January 1 of each year and assessed valuation notices must be sent to property owners by the first Monday in June.
Note: Counties with populations off 150,000 or higher must provide preliminary valuation change notices on or before January 15. This allows an opportunity to meet with the assessor's office to review the preliminary assessment from January 15 to March 1.
On or before June 1 of each year, every property owner whose property has been assessed at a different value from the previous year will receive a notification.
What are valid reasons to protest your Nebraska property valuation?
A property owner may protest their real property valuation with the county board of equalization if they think their property is assessed for more than its actual market value (valuation) or disproportionately valued in relation to similar comparable properties (equalization).
Protesting County Valuation
The first step, as mentioned above is to have an informal discussion with your county assessor regarding your property valuation. The assessor will answer any questions and review any additional, pertinent information you provide regarding the assessment of your property. If you are unable to resolve your issue or concern after an informal discussion, a protest may be filed with the board of equalization.
In order to protest, you or your representative must file a Property Valuation Protest Form 422 or 422A between June 1 and June 30. Other protest considerations:
- Each protest must contain a written statement of why the requested change in assessment should be made, include a description of the real property, and a requested valuation change.
- If protesting multiple parcels of real property, a separate protest must be filed for each parcel.
- By filing a protest, the assessed value of your property may be increased if the county board of equalization finds that your property was undervalued by the county assessor.
Your protest should include any pertinent information that will assist in proving that the assessed value of your property as of January 1 was not actual market value or not equalized with similar area properties.
Pertinent information may include, but not be limited to:
- Recent sale information involving the purchase of your property;
- Recent sale information of comparable properties in the area/county;
- A recent appraisal of your property;
- If disputing the condition of any structures or buildings on the real property, provide photographs
of the structures or buildings as of January 1;
- For income producing properties, provide income and expense information; and
- For agricultural land, provide Farm Service Agency maps or other records showing the number of
certified agricultural acres.
The burden is on the property owner to prove their property has been incorrectly assessed. The experts at Savage & Browning know how to prepare a case for you that proves that the valuation protest is more than just a difference of opinion.
Protests must be considered by the county board of equalization on or before July 25. Some county boards of equalization appoint referees to consider the protest and make recommendations to the county board of equalization regarding each filed protest. If a referee is used, the county board of equalization will make the final determination regarding your protest; the property owner may meet with referees instead of appearing before the county board of equalization.
The process can also vary from county to county in how the final determination is made. The county may provide a specific date and time for the protest hearing. The county may rely on the information provided along with the written protest. A protest hearing is not as formal as a court of law and although the property owner does not have to be represented by an attorney or agent, we recommend that you are in order to maximize both your chances of reducing your valuation and the amount of the reduction.
The county board of equalization must issue its decision on your protest on or before August 2. Then, the county clerk must mail the decision to the property owner.
If the property owner is not satisfied with the decision of the county board of equalization, an appeal to the Tax Equalization and Review Commission may be filed on or before August 24.
Don’t delay. Contact Savage & Browning today and let us get a jump on valuing your real properties and determining the best cases to be made for assessment reduction.
With the uncertainty of Covid-19 shutting down many businesses, property owners have seen unprecedented shifts in cash flow from shuttered businesses or residential tenants who lost the ability to pay rent. Additionally, there are other considerations that can be presented to justify assessment reductions:
- Equitability of the Assessment
- Building Age and Type
- Needed Improvements and Repairs
- All Forms of Depreciation / Obsolescence
- Highest & Best Use of Your Property
As a part of our long history, our team worked hard over the years to build and maintain positive relationships with the various assessor offices and other property tax professionals. These relationships facilitate appeal and negotiation since we have proven our credibility time and again.
We start each engagement with a Real Estate Appraisal Review that includes:
- Obtaining data from you, the client and taxing authorities.
- We identify appraisal methods used in assessing properties and audit the results for accuracy.
- We aggressively seek and secure refunds for past years tax over-payments when inaccurate assessments are identified.
- We use cost, market and income approaches in preparing appeals for presentation to taxing authorities.
- We review the assessed value of comparable properties to ensure fair and equal standards.
- We use comparable assessments and calculations of cash equivalency values in presentations to taxing authorities.
If we determine that your real estate valuation by the county is unjustifiably too high, we go to bat for you throughout the entire Real Estate Property Tax Appeal Process:
- We arrange for and conduct diligent, informal settlement discussions with taxing authorities.
- When advisable, we file written protests with tax appraisal review boards for all unsuccessful appeals at the informal level.
- We attend hearings and offer personal presentations of expert testimony before tax appraisal review boards to support lower values.
- If appropriate, we recommend legal counsel and provide support services for continuing an appeal at the state level.
Throughout the entire process you will receive status reports and so you know where we stand in your property tax valuation reduction appeal:
- A preliminary tax savings report using estimated tax rates.
- A final tax savings report using actual tax rates and identifying savings by property.
- A tax comparison report on a property-by-property basis including current and prior year's values and taxes.
- A narrative report pertaining to research, analysis, and negotiation activity.
Once we have established a familiarity with your property we are prepared to Administer your real estate property tax valuation on an annual basis, always looking for opportunities to appeal and reduce valuations or mitigate increases in valuation.
On your behalf we will:
- Respond to inquiries from taxing authorities.
- Provide tax estimates for accrual and budgeting purposes.
- On a timely basis, obtain, audit and forward tax bills to clients with an approval letter.
- Seek and secure corrected tax bills where inaccuracies are discovered.
- Upon request, provide clients with copies of parcel maps from taxing authorities.
- Verify the property tax proration on escrow closing statements for acquisitions or dispositions.
|Jan 01||Assessment Date|
|Apr 30||Tax Bills Due||1st half installment|
|May||Value Notices Issued||1st Monday in June|
|Jun 30||Appeal Deadline|
|Aug 31||Tax Bills Due||2nd half installment|
|Jan 01||Assessment Date|
|Mar 31 – Apr 30||Tax Bills Due||1st half installment; varies by jurisdiction|
|May 01||PP Returns Due||Inventory Exempt|
|Jun 30||Appeal Deadline||Date varies – 15 days after notices mailed|
|Jul 31 – Aug 31||Tax Bills Due||2nd half installment; varies by jurisdiction|
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Contact us today to learn more about how we reduce the single highest expense for most income producing properties.