HomeNewsOPA is wrapping up assessment reviews

OPA is wrapping up assessment reviews

Here’s the mail: A letter from the city to a local homeowner.

The Office of Property Assessment by Dec. 9 had mailed out 46,304 answers to owners who asked the agency to review the new market values assigned to their properties this year. The agency refused to change those numbers for 39,483, said Michael Piper, OPA’s deputy chief assessment officer.

More than 6,800 received better news, he said in a Dec. 10 phone interview, and got all or part of what they wanted from OPA.

Not all of them wanted their total assessments lowered, he said. Some don’t care what the total is; it’s the parts of the sum that concern them.

For those who have abatements, he said, the value assigned to land is what they pay taxes on, so they wanted that figure lowered.

There still are about 4,500 owners who had asked the OPA to review their assessments who haven’t gotten responses yet.

These “first-level reviews” usually aren’t done, but, as Piper said, there’s nothing usual about 2013. The first citywide property reassessment that just about anybody can recall was completed this year. The purpose of the Actual Value Initiative was to put the values of the city’s more than half-million properties at 100 percent of what they would sell for. Owners will be taxed based on those new values in 2014.

It was expected that some property owners wouldn’t be happy about the new figures, so they were given the opportunity to ask OPA to review them. More than 50,000 filed review requests.

The ordinary route for appeals is to ask the Board of Revision of Taxes to change assessments, and ordinarily, the BRT gets 1,000 to 2,000 such requests.

Owners could take their cases directly to the BRT or appeal to that agency if they didn’t like what they heard from OPA.

Almost 23,000 are appealing to the BRT to lower their assessments, according to Carla Pagan, BRT’s executive director. OPA will have representatives at BRT hearings, Piper said. ••

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