March 13 deadline for appealing tax assessment

March 13 deadline for appealing tax assessment Anyone wishing to appeal real estate tax assessments must notify the proper authority in writing by March 13, a South Dakota State University specialist said.

Rural residents must notify their township clerk and those living in villages or cities must notify their financial officer. The clerks and financial officers must report the names and parcel identifications to the county director of equalization on March 14.

"Once the names have been turned into the director of equalization, no additional names can be accepted," SDSU Extension Economist Don Peterson said. "The only exception to this rule is for those who live in a governmental unit other than where the assessed property is located. In that case, the appellant may contact the county director of equalization by April 1."

A change in state law specifies that the notice must be in writing, Peterson noted. The notice should contain the appellant's name, address, telephone number, and the legal description and parcel number of each parcel being appealed. This information can be found on the assessment notice. Once the clerk or financial officer has been notified, he or she will set up an appointment time to meet with the board of equalization.

"Success in appealing tax assessments depends to a great deal on how well the appeal is documented," Peterson said. "Opinion does not go very far. The best documentation is a list of sales of comparable property. Any characteristics that make the comparable sales different from the protested parcel should be pointed out. The next best source is a list of assessed values of comparable property. Again, any differences in characteristics should be pointed out."

The appellant should have the documentation in hand when meeting with the board of equalization, Peterson said. While such documentation may not guarantee success, it will go a long way in improving the property owner's chances.

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