One of the most misunderstood and often cited property tax issues is what we call ‘my neighbors assessment.’ When property tax notices are received, many homeowners immediately look online to see how their property tax bill compares to other homes on their street. Unfortunately, comparing individual assessments in Missouri from one house to another is not a recognized appeal strategy.

Step one in reviewing the property tax assessment should be an honest determination of whether or not the assessor’s estimate of value exceeds the value a homeowner could sell the property on the open market. If it’s determined the value is in fact reasonable, the second step is to look at equity in assessments.

The manner in which equity or discrimination is determined in Missouri is to compare how the individual assessment relates to the overall median level of assessment of all residential properties in the county.

For example, if the property is accurately valued by the assessor at $250,000, but the median level of assessment is 90 percent of market value, the homeowner would be entitled to the same 10 percent discount.

After a determination of the market value has been made, PAR Residential completes sales ratio studies with the assistance of recognized experts in the field. This strategy allows us to find property tax savings for homeowners.

For most individual homeowners, the complexity and cost of completing a useable study and pursuing the appeal far outweighs the potential reward on their single property. Given the significant time and cost associated, generally the only way to participate in a true discrimination appeal is to pool resources with other taxpayers. Representing nearly 10,000 St. Louis County taxpayers gives us the ability to make the investment in these additional strategies to ensure clients pay the lowest property tax possible.

PAR Residential is the largest commercial property tax consulting firm in the metropolitan area. Leave the review to an expert and pay a fair and correct amount for property taxes. For more information, please call (314) 454-0505 or visit parresidential.com.