When a commercial or industrial property owner decides that they need to appeal the real estate taxes on one of their properties, there are several types of professionals who may be of assistance.
Tax consultants are agencies that endeavor to reduce the tax liability of individuals and companies. Some tax consultants concentrate on property taxes, others on personal taxes, and some property tax consultants work in all tax fields.
In some jurisdictions, property and personal taxes are linked. If you live in one of these jurisdictions then consider property tax consultants knowledgeable in both areas.
Some states do not require property tax consultants to be licensed, however any agency that you might consider for a commercial appeal should have well credentialed individuals on staff.
Property tax consulting agencies are often started by professionals such as real estate agents, brokers, CPAs, appraisers or even attorneys. The quality of property tax consulting agencies can vary substantially depending on the type of professionals at the agency.
Robert Hill and his team work with property tax consultants on a daily basis and have hired consultants when that decision is in a client’s best interests.
Attorneys Practicing Property Tax Law
Within the legal profession is a small group of lawyers that solely or primarily practice property tax appeals. Many of these attorneys or firms also practice eminent domain law, which like property tax law, also involves valuations.
Experience matters in property tax appeals. It is not advisable to hire a big law firm or attorney that does not concentrate a significant portion of their practice to property tax appeals.
An attorney’s property tax experience is particularly important if there are significant amounts of money involved, your case has complications, or if your state has complicated property tax laws.
What is the difference between property tax consultants and attorneys?
The primary difference between a property tax consultant and an attorney is that a consultant cannot represent you if you must go to court. Some consultants will have lawyers on staff, but this is not typical. Most consultants have relationships with property tax attorneys and will call on them if they do not win at the administrative level.
Who should you hire for a property tax appeal?
In simple property tax appeals that do not involve significant amounts of money, either an attorney or a property tax consultant can adequately handle a successful appeal.
It is best to seek the advice of a property tax attorney for cases that involve significant amounts of money, even if you decide to hire a consultant. This is because an attorney can help prepare your case for appeal beyond the administrative level.
Property Tax Appraisers
Like some attorneys, many appraisers specialize in property tax appeals or in the appraisal of certain types of property. Many times a property owner will first call an appraiser to get an opinion of the value of the property involved before looking for representation for an appeal. This is not always the best way to go.
A solid approach is to find a consultant through your research into law firms and tax consulting agencies. Many property tax consultants have appraisers on staff, and all good property tax attorneys have a rolodex full of vetted appraisers. Ask the firms you are considering whom theyrecommend as appraisers experienced with your type of property.