Better Tools Translate to Fewer Appeals for Tax Appraisers

Depending on your perspective, the early fall may signal football season, back-to-school season, or even time to get your annual vaccine for the upcoming flu season, at least in the United States.

If you are a tax assessor or appraiser in the state of Florida, early fall typically signals Value Adjustment Board (VAB) season. This is the season when appraisal notices are sent to property owners to officially notify them of the proposed value of their properties for the current tax year. Property owners have a deadline by which to appeal values, leading to hearings in January.

Tax assessors and appraisers in Florida and other states now have better tools to identify comparable properties within their entire states in order to defend or contest property values.

CourthouseUSA is a leading provider of web-based and mobile applications for the assessment and real estate communities, and a Hexagon Geospatial division partner. The company’s flagship product, ValueArmor, is a set of Hexagon Smart M.Apps for specific states that provide data that, in the past, assessors and appraisers had limited or no access to – state-wide commercial and sales data. ValueArmor is web based with a simple point-and-click interface for viewing the data as well as for filtering it to find “comparable” properties.

For example, if there were an appeal on a large department store in a county, there is a good chance the appraisers wouldn’t have many comparable sales to help fight (or make the decision to settle) within that county. However, with a couple clicks of the mouse, they may find similar properties that have sold in surrounding or nearby counties.

“This spring, we added nearly 10,000 commercial sales for 2019 to ValueArmor Florida,” said Billy Burle, Director of Product Marketing for Courthouse USA. They update the data whenever the Department of Revenue posts new data – typically in the spring and fall – to ensure their clients have access to the most current and relevant data when researching commercial properties and preparing for appeals hearings.

Map-Centric Dashboard Reveals Details of Comparable Sales

The ValueArmor tool lets you find the details you need to compare properties, such as:

  • Easy access to 385,000 commercial properties across the state
  • Filter data with a variety of clickable charts to find specific property types or characteristics
  • Search the state for specific property owners like Lowe’s Home Centers
  • Search for sales and select specific sales qualification codes
  • Find outliers with ratio charts
  • Export results to Microsoft Excel

See how to quickly find the results you are seeking in this short video showing ValueArmor in action.

With the ValueArmor tool, in the short term, noted Burle, clients will be able to win more appeals.  In the long term, having better data analytics will eventually result in better values that will translate to fewer appeals. Burle also noted that CourthouseUSA is currently exploring options for expanding ValueArmor across the United States.

Learn more about ValueArmor and how it is supporting accurate and informed property value appraisals.

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