Tax Disputes / Tax Equalization Appraisals


Most tax dispute appraisals are ordered due to value differences that owners have with the County Assessor.  Owners attempt to dispute their tax assessments, some of them on an annual basis, by filing the required forms.  In Clark County the Equalization Board includes a panel with some appraisers on it.  The "hearing" of your dispute is not informal, you make your case to the panel and the members make a decision.  If you plan to make an argument about value at this "hearing" you need to have your real property appraiser in tow.  Owners who dispute their assessed value without their appraiser beside them are usually wasting their time.  Getting appraisal dcouments to the Equalization Board weeks before the hearing is also important.  Those who wait until the last two weeks just to order the report are already in trouble.  Without a review of the appraisal report, board memebers cannot evaluate its merit, and they are likely to deny a request for a change in assessment without having had time to review an appraisal report.


What kind of result can you expect from your Tax Equalization Board appeal?  it is my experience that a very high percentage of tax appeals are denied at the County Equalizatin Board level.  Even with an appraisal report, you may lose your dispute, or you may gain only a small portion of what you believed to be appropriate.  Most people forget that the tax equalization process is done on a "mass appraisal" basis.  They can not appraise each individual property, its not done that way.  So you may have a valid point when you approach the Board with your appeal, but that does not mean that you are going to get an adjustment.  The process is about tax collection, not about appraisal technique or total accuracy, they accept that the process works as long as you do not open the flood gates and allow too many owners to get their taxes adjusted.  If you do that, you will dramatically increase the number of disputes.    


Appeals to the State Board of Equalization meet with a similar or even more negative result than those filed with the County Board.  Since the County Assessors office already proved its case to the County Board of Equalization, the State Board of Equalization generally has all the amunition that they needs to deny your claim without doing any more work, but they will take the time to further critique the appraisal work.    


If you want to vent your disapproval of the tax system in Nevada, or you want to have a audience to test your acting skills, then you may want to take your issues up with the State Equalization Board.  If you think that you can argue about facts, appraisal methods or other factual issues and get a reversal, that is probably not going to happen.   Call me cynical, but I have been there, and the County was not even forced to complete a USPAP compliant appraisal report or even to make a logical arguments.  The State Board of Equalization will, however, take its time to focus on, analyze and critique the appraisal report that your appraiser provides.  The process is entirely one-sided, and the participants are there not as public servants but to "hold the line" and deny most appeals, and the easiest way to do that is to call into question the appraisal that you provide.


The Nevada tax assessment system has moved in 2010 from one that used to determine land value and add the "cost of construction" to one that now relies on ratio analyses.  Nevada is one of the only states in the Union that does not use market value as the basis for tax assessment.  There have been a number of court battles over the assessment process that can be referenced via Internet searches, especially in Reno.


Contact us with your questions or concerns regarding tax appraisals or regarding your specific appraisal assignment in Nevada at 1-702-568-6699.  We can also be e-mailed at   




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Commercial Real Estate Appraisals in the Las Vegas & Henderson, Nevada Area.