What happens during a revaluation?
A Revaluation is the process of performing all of the necessary Market Analysis and Valuation steps to determine accurate and equitable values for all properties within a municipality.
The equalization of the values within a City or Town creates a fair distribution of the tax burden. The purpose of a Revaluation is not to raise taxes. The purpose is to create an equitable distribution of the tax load.
1) Collect Required Physical Data
During this phase, Listers, otherwise known as data collectors, go to each property and physically inspect the interior and exterior of each building.
They note the buildings location, size, age, and quality of construction, #of bedrooms and bathrooms, improvements, topography, utilities, zoning restrictions, if any, and numerous other characteristics both inside and out.
If the property recently sold, the lister will inquire about the terms of the sale. If the property is a potential income producing property (apartment, office building, etc.) the lister may inquire about rental information.
In order to obtain proof that a property was inspected, the owner is asked to sign the data collection form to verify that the inspection took place. The entire process typically takes approximately 15 minutes.
If you are unsure about letting a person in, listers should carry proper identification and will have their information on file at the police department and the assessors office.
Due to the cost required to physically visit properties, this step is not undertaken on every project.
2) Quality Control Procedures
As data is being collected, managers from both the company as well as the City or Town often revisit a property to double check the data collection process.
3) Collect/Verify Specific Market Data
During this time, mailers are often sent in order to gain further insight on properties that have recently sold, existing property data and commercial/industrial property lease information .
You can view examples of sample mailers by visiting the Sample Revaluation Forms section.
A variety of resources are used to analyze the real estate market. While the physical data is being collected by Listers, experienced appraisers will be analyzing recent sales as well as lease information to determine which market factors influenced property values.
Once all the data is collected and reviewed for accuracy, the appraisers will begin to set values using information gathered from past market activity.
Valuation is done using one of the three widely accepted valuation methods which are the market, cost or income approach.
5) Field Review and Value Correlation
Field Review is the method of checking and re-checking both the values that have been determined and the data that has been collected.
During this review, properties are viewed in the field by experienced appraisers who double check uniformity and accuracy of information.
This typically involves a visual view from the street as opposed to a physical inspection of the property.
6) Informal Hearings (not done for all projects)
Once the Field Review is completed, a Notice of New Values may be mailed to each property owner.
At this time, anyone with questions concerning their value, the revaluation process or about the data collected on their property has an opportunity to meet with someone to discuss their property value.
The steps outlined here (Is my Assessment Correct?) will help you to evaluate your situation and help you to decide if you even need to schedule a hearing.
If you decide that you do need one, make sure to review the information in the Preparing for a Hearing section.
7) Project Complete
During this phase, the company has made all final changes resulting from the steps outlined above. In order for the project to be complete, the City or Town must formally accept all values.
Once this is complete, all information is formally turned over to the City or Town. Typically tax bills are produced using the new values to calculate individual taxes.
Each Step of this flowchart is not necessarily part of every Revaluation.