experts: real estate column Wednesday, January 12, 2000


By Ozzie Jurock

Assessment notices are a'flying ... Most people never look at them. Don't be most people. Check over all the details on your notice. Estimates of 'actual value' are supposed to be representative of July 1st 1999 market value of your property. If you have concerns, call the assessor. Yes, you can call him/her. The officer will explain to you which similar sales of properties in YOUR neighbourhood has been used. This is particularly important in areas where there were few comparable sales. If you are still unclear, unhappy with the explanations ... write down this date: January 31, 2000. That's your deadline for requesting a 'FORMAL REVIEW' before a property assessment review panel. The panel will look to YOU to prove your point. So have your Realtor/appraiser/lawyer prepare (hopefully) better comparable sales more similar, more recent and support your claim of 'lower assessment'. Particularly, condo units may be overvalued last year. Relevant comparisons are also easier to find. Remember the assessment Authority does not set mill rates or taxes etc. but it does set market value (on which mill rates and taxes will be based on). Remember also, the Authority is not your enemy. If you have a proper supported claim, you CAN get your assessments changed ... if you do it THIS month.

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