Property Tax Appeals

Berkeley County residents will soon receive notice from the County that the appraised value of nearly 27,000 properties will increase by more than $1,000 for purposes of calculating property tax assessments.  For some, the potential increase in their tax bill will be minimal, despite the alleged increase in property value.  Others, however, could see their property tax bills rise dramatically.

Some residents may disagree with these new assessments, but don’t realize they can appeal the tax assessment. Failing to appeal a bad appraisal can cost a property owner thousands, and sometimes tens of thousands, of dollars in excess taxes.

If the property owner receives the notice and believes that the County has overvalued the property, the owner must send a written notice to the County objecting to the newly appraised value within 90 days of the County’s notice being mailed.  If the owner does not send notice of the objection within the ninety-day period, they forfeit their right to appeal the incorrect value.

Appealing a property tax assessment is a very strict process.  Missing a deadline or failing to gather the proper evidence to support the property owner’s objections can result in a costly mistake.  A property owner simply writing to the County that they disagree with the value assigned to their property will likely lose their appeal.  However, property owners who take the time to research property values around them, obtain appraisals when necessary, and who fully document the reasons why their property is not as valuable as the County believes, will stand a good chance of receiving a reduction in the appraised value from the County, which means a reduction in the amount of taxes the owner will have to pay for the next four years.

If you are faced with a reassessment notice and are not sure what to do, have tried to appeal a value but have not been successful, or simply have questions, you should seek legal counsel.  Whether you’re making the initial objection to the County, representing a property owner before the Board of Assessment Appeals, or litigating the appeal, the attorneys at Hart Hyland Shepherd, LLC, are experienced in the property tax appeals process and are ready and willing to help.  Please contact our partner, Andy Shepherd, for a free consultation to discuss your options.