Tax Reduction Questions and Answers

Q. Can you get the taxes reduced on my property?

A. That depends on whether the county has overvalued the property, and some other factors. I can look at the situation and give you an answer.  There is no charge for that.

Q How would I know if it is overvalued or not?

A. Often, I can tell in only a few minutes with commercial property. With residential property, I look at recent appraisal or purchase price. The sale needs to be an arm’s length transaction. That normally means it was purchased from a complete stranger through a realtor. Foreclosure sales tend to be ignored by assessors and courts.

Q. Why shouldn’t I appeal it myself and save some money?

A. You may be able to, if you have the time and the knowledge to put together a presentation, fill out the forms, and meet with appraisers from the assessor’s office. Many taxpayers start the appeal on their own but later turn the appeal over to a professional. If requested, I can step in at any stage.

Q. How do I know you will not abscond with the money?

A. The only cash money involved would be the refund check on taxes that have been paid, if there is a reduction. In most cases, the county sends a check, with interest, directly to the owner. The owner then pays me for my services.

Q. How much do you charge?

A. For commercial property, I charge 30% of the first year reduction, including interest on the refund. My fee is for the first year of the appeal, only. I do not charge a fee for any benefit received by the taxpayer in the following years as a result of the appeal. Residential appeals are on a case by case basis.

Q Do you ever discount the fee?

A. Discounts may be possible on larger accounts, if there is a recent appraisal or if the property has just been purchased.

Q. What expenses do I have to pay beyond the 30%?

A. I ask that the tax payer pay the filing fees, which are $30 charge by the Multnomah Board of Property Tax Appeals and $252 charged by Magistrate Division, if we take the case to the next level. Most counties have no filing fee.

Q. Suppose we win, won’t the county just raise it again for the next year?

A. Once the tax is reduced by the Board of Property Tax Appeals or by the Magistrate Division, the property value is in a special class known as adjudicated value. The value can be raised or lowered but only to a limited degree. There are exceptions. I can send you a brochure on this.

Q. How can I check you out?

A. Check the links to the Oregon tax court and see my past cases. Also, I have references that I can give on request.

Q. What percent of the cases you take actually get a reduction?

A. For the 2016-17 tax year, most of my tax appeal cases did not get a reduction. I only take cases for which I feel the property is overvalued by the county.