Scott County property owners who disagree with the county assessor's new estimate of their property value have options to appeal, but the clock is ticking.
Tom McManus, the county's assessor, said they first should ask about the actual fair market value of their property, what they would sell it for and how it compares to similar properties in their neighborhood.
"If people think we're wrong, they should contact us," he said.
State legislation passed in the last few years now allows a resident to request an informal assessment review, he said. During a review, the assessor will visit the property and do a walk-through.
"If you can convince the assessor that an adjustment is warranted, the assessor can come to a new agreement between April 2 and 25," he said. "About half of our phone calls result in informal assessment reviews."
If it has been awhile since the assessor has been on the property, he said the property's condition or the removal of a building can change the value.
He urged requests not wait until near the April 25 deadline.
In addition, about 20 to 35 percent of those objecting will go to the formal protest process — either providing protesting in writing or appearing in person before the Board of Review. Protests can be filed between April 1 and May 5.
A three-member panel will convene beginning May 1 and begin hearing the oral protests and reading the written ones. The board may overrule the assessor and will decide all cases during May.
If still not satisfied, appeals also may be made to the State Appeal Board or the District Court within 20 days after May 31 or from when the Board of Review adjourns, whichever is later.
McManus said the assessor's website, scottcounty.com/assessor, offers several tools including a step-by-step process on protesting.
He also encouraged property owners to check the website to see if they are receiving all the credits and exemptions for their property. "Some will lower your assessment, some credits will lower your taxes," McManus said.