South Dakota Property Taxes: I've Decided to Appeal - Now What?
It's about this time of year when our local Assessors are sending out notification of assessed values on real estate. Now is the time to address real property values, in order to lower the future taxes that will be due on the property. After receiving an assessment notice, you should think about the following when determining if your assessment is too high:
How does your assessment compare to last year? Significant increases may reflect a correction in value that is overdue; however, it may also be overstated if market conditions do not justify an increase in value;
Was the property recently purchased? If the purchase price is less than the assessed value, appealing may be appropriate;
Was the mortgage on the property recently refinanced? If so, the lender was required to have the property appraised by a licensed and qualified appraiser. Be sure to compare that appraisal to the assessment to make sure the assessment accurate reflects the property’s value;
If the property is an income generating property, like an apartment building, compare operations to prior years. Any changes in the rental market, like increased vacancies due to market conditions, may justify a change in the assessment;
Review the details of your assessment and property card. Mistakes can be made, and overstating the amount of square footage or other aspects of a piece of property can have a significant effect on its assessed value;
Pay attention to what’s happening in the neighborhood and city. If a similar property has recently sold, it may make a good comparable for purposes of valuing your subject property.
I’ve Decided to Appeal My Value, What Should I Do?
The appeal deadline is rapidly approaching, so it is important to quickly decide whether you want to challenge your property’s assessed value. Look at your assessment and determine whether your appeal should be filed with the local county board or a consolidated board of equalization. The appeal deadline depends on which board you must first file your appeal with:
March 14, 2019, for the local board. Generally, this applies to property located in a city or town.
April 2, 2019, for the consolidated board of equalization. This applies to properties located outside of a city or town, or counties that have chosen to consolidate their local board with the board of equalization.
If your appeal is postmarked by the above deadlines, it is considered timely.
How do you appeal? Simply write a letter to the appropriate board and tell them you want to appeal your property’s assessed value. Include a brief description of why you believe the assessed value is too high. Do not forget to include your property’s address, account number, and your telephone number. The board will notify you of your hearing date.
When you go to your hearing, it is important for you to bring some information to support your belief that the assessed value on the property is too high. That information may include an appraisal of your property, assessed values of comparable properties, or sale prices of comparable properties (a market analysis).
After hearing your appeal, the board will notify you in writing of its decision. For the local board, you will receive a decision by March 29, 2019. For the consolidated board of equalization, you will receive a decision by May 3, 2019.
I do not agree with the board’s decision, what should I do?
If your initial appeal was to the local board, review the board’s decision carefully. It should advise you on the next step in the appeal process. You will need to quickly file an appeal with the County Board of Equalization. Your appeal must be mailed to the county auditor by April 2, 2019.
If your initial appeal was to the Consolidated Board of Equalization, or you are now appealing the County Board of Equalization’s decision (following an appeal from the local board), you may appeal to either the Office of Hearing Examiners (OHE) or the Circuit Court for your county. An appeal to the OHE must be filed by May 17, 2019. An appeal to the Circuit Court must be filed within 30 days of when the decision of the board was served.