Empowering Your Tax Agent for Multifamily Valuation Appeals 

Brittany Cass Feb 04, 2024
4 min read
Empowering Your Tax Agent for Multifamily Valuation Appeals 

Introduction: 

We all know that every dollar counts when you are creating a quality community that cares for and protects your residents. That is why it is incredibly important to navigate your property tax appeals with intense care. When you choose the right tax agent and empower them with the right information, it can make a significant difference to the outcome of your valuation appeal and the profitability of your community. Let’s take a deep look into the key factors that impact your property tax valuation and share how to effectively empower your tax agent with this crucial information. 

Understanding the Valuation Date: 

One critical aspect is the importance of the valuation date, usually this is January 1st. This date serves as a snapshot of your property’s status for tax assessment purposes. The condition of your property on this specific date determines your tax assessment. Therefore, it is in your best interest to provide your tax agent with a comprehensive overview of issues affecting your property on the valuation date. 

Factors Influencing Valuation: 

Occupancy Rates: 

The percentage of occupied units on the valuation date can significantly affect the revenue potential of your property, and therefore the assessed value. A higher occupancy rate may result in a higher valuation, while a lower rate could potentially lead to a reduced assessment. Be sure to share your occupancy rates with your tax agent on your valuation date. 

Rent Trends: 

Keep your tax agent informed about current rent trends in your area, this ensures that they can accurately assess the income potential of your property and work toward a reduction. What economic factors are influencing your rent? For example, for multifamily communities in the Permian Basin of Texas, we are consistently documenting the direct relationship between operating oil rigs and rent prices. This level of research enabled us to prove declining market rent trends even before the oil crash in March 2020, resulting in immense savings for our clients, while competing tax agents did not even attempt to appeal that year. 

Deferred Maintenance: 

Any deferred maintenance issues should be disclosed to your tax agent. Unaddressed maintenance can adversely impact the property’s value. Without documenting these issues and having estimates for the repairs, you might end up with a higher valuation than you should. 

Obsolescence: 

Technological advancements or changes in market preferences can make certain features of your property obsolete. Identifying and communicating these factors is especially important. This is where an experienced agent who is actually visiting your property can help. If you are not sure about something, the agent can help you know what is relevant.   

Acute Issues: 

Flooding, fire, severe storms or other unfortunate events can significantly impact your property’s revenue and condition. Timely disclosure about these events allows your tax agent to factor in these issues during the valuation process. Do you have any down units? Why are they down? Did a fallen tree damage the roof? Did a pipe burst under the foundation? Did a storm take down part of the fence? Incidents like these have helped us lower the tax bill for our clients. Your tax agent will want to know about everything and sending them pictures to document the issues is important too.  

Tenant Population and Economic Factors: 

Understanding the demographic and economic landscape surrounding your property is equally important. Highlight relevant economic factors in your community, such as job growth or decline, sudden housing availability, an influx of population growth; these issues can influence property values. What is the neighborhood doing? Is it growing or in decline, etc. Be generous and share this information with your tax agent. 

Transparency is Key: 

One of the most crucial pieces of advice is to be transparent with your tax agent. Even if you are unsure whether certain details will impact the assessment, it is better to disclose everything. Tax agents are trained to weed out irrelevant information and focus on factors that genuinely influence property value. 

Conclusion: 

Empowering your tax agent with comprehensive information about your property’s condition, tenant population, and local economic factors can significantly enhance their ability to secure the most accurate property valuation for you. Transparency and communication are key elements in building a strong partnership with your tax agent, ensuring the highest savings potential on your property tax assessment. 

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