Fayetteville Arkansas, University of Arkansas--Old Main Overview

Fayetteville Arkansas, University of Arkansas--Old Main Overview
Overview of Fayetteville, AR

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Benton County Property Appraisals - The Saga Continues

Don’t lose this phone number: 479-271-1037. If you can get through the busy signals, it will connect you to the Benton County Assessor’s office where you can make an appointment to meet with the Equalization Board if you feel your property has been assessed too high.

Property owners who are unable to get through to the Assessor's may stop by the office in the Benton County Administration Building, fax a letter of request to (479 ) 271-1073 or mail a letter to the attention of Cathy Lee, scheduler for the Equalization Board, 215 E. Central Ave., Bentonville, AR 72712.

All letters requesting an appointment with the board should include the property owner's name, address, phone number and parcel number. If residents chose to mail a letter requesting a meeting, they should send the letter via certified mail.

Keep in mind you must contact the assessor’s office before August 20. The board will meet from August 1 to October 1 to hear why you believe your property value is incorrect. Bring along some evidence such as an independent appraisal of the property or a new mortgage on the property.

The board can adjust the property values for three reasons:
--The assessment is unfair compared with other lands of the same kind, similarly situated.
--It is appraised higher than neighboring properties with the same uses, size, materials and conditions.
--The assessment is clearly erroneous.
--The assessment is manifestly excessive.

On the one hand, we can’t point too hard at the assessor’s office for the high numbers. Assessments must be done every third year but it takes time to assess all the parcels. People must go out and physically inspect the properties. Things were still flying high during much of 2007 when the appraisals were being conducted. It was late 2007 and into 2008 when things started spiraling downhill.

On the other hand, however, I was distressed to read that when one property value has been readjusted, all similarly situated property should automatically be re-examined and that part of the law has been ignored.

Many Benton County residents have become galvanized to fight the increased appraisals. On Monday night the NW Arkansas Property Rights Association hosted a town meeting to inform residents of their rights and to help them get some answers. Present at the meeting were County Assessor Bill Moutray; Sen. Kim Hendren, R-Gravette; Larry Kelly, a local real-estate agent; Benton County Appraiser Charles Hudson Jr.; and Benton County Clerk Mary Lou Slinkard.

Now that property owner’s concerns are being brought to the forefront, Benton County officials will hopefully be taking a more proactive approach to protecting owner’s rights.

For more information:

My blog postings dated July 12 and July 29 - http://nwarealestateblog.blogspot.com/


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