Timing is Everything

As someone who has been involved in many appeal hearings, I’ve witnessed firsthand how much valuable time is lost because of timing. What do I mean by time lost because of timing? Read on.

The issue (which shouldn’t even be one) is incorrect citing of published information used in support of an overall cap rate, appropriate rent, vacancy rate, or other market indicator. This published information, typically in the form of surveys, is often cited in valuations as of a certain date.

However, for assessment purposes, valuation is assumed to be “as of” the tax date. Thus, intrinsic in that assumption is use of data available as of that date. If quarterly surveys are cited, they should only be those released (available) as of the specific tax date. For example, if the tax date is January 1, 2018… publications from 4th quarter 2017 (and earlier) are appropriate for comparison; publications from 1st quarter 2018 do not apply.

Hindsight is great, but use of surveys released a month or two after the tax date leads to confusion and wasted time in the hearing room. Take a moment to review the published date on the cited supporting data; the only relevant surveys are those that were available as of the specific tax date.

Valuation is as of a distinct point in time, not after data arrival. In a fast moving market, this makes a difference.

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