Equipment Appraisal Blog | Understanding Machinery Appraisals

What Do You Need to Know for a Personal Property Tax Appeal?

Posted by Equipment Appraisal Services on Tue, Mar 13, 2018 @ 09:52 AM

Most people have come to expect the arrival of their personal property tax bill every year. But every year, there's always a few who get an unpleasant surprise. Sticker shock is rough enough, but when it's on your property tax assessment, it can be even more alarming. Fortunately, you do have alternatives to paying a too-high assessment. Here's a quick overview of what you should expect when you go through a personal property tax appeal.


What Do You Need to Know for a Personal Property Tax Appeal?

  1. Start the process. In most situations, directions for starting the appeal process is included with the tax bill. If it isn't, it can be as simple as calling the tax agency's number to learn how the process is handled. In either situation, start the process as quickly as possible to ensure you'll be able to clear the problem up sooner.
  2. Find what documentation you already have available. If the property is new this year, it's fairly easy for it to be mistaken for another model, trim level or other easily verified error, which can lead to an incorrect assessment. In that situation, you may be able to prove the equipment's value from the invoice. However, if it's had any use at all, you may want to consider that the value may have already dropped, much like when a truck leaves the dealer's lot with the new owner.
  3. Consider whether that documentation represents an accurate value. If it's new equipment that had any use at all, you may want to consider that the value may have already dropped, much like when a truck leaves the dealer's lot with the new owner. In addition, if the equipment has been used hard, it may have already depreciated in value enough that even a reasonable tax assessment may be much higher than the equipment's actual value.
  4. Get a certified appraisal report. If you can't come up with any documentation of the value, or if you feel that the value may have changed since that documentation was produced, your next option is to get an appraisal performed. However, you'll want to make sure the individual performing the appraisal has experience working with that type of equipment - after all, the tax assessor who first determined the value used by the tax office deals with a wide range of property, but usually doesn't have the specialized knowledge to deal with the variances in particular equipment types.
  5. Send or bring your documentation to the tax agency for the appeal. Once you have your documentation in hand, present it to the tax agency in the manner recommended in their appeal process. If you're providing an appraisal report, make sure that it's from a certified appraiser who knows what methodologies to apply in your case.

By taking the time to fight a bad personal property tax appeal, you're protecting your bottom line. If you do need to have an appraisal performed on your equipment, please remember to have it performed by a certified appraiser. The certification process provides the appraiser with the knowledge and expertise to use the right methodologies for your case, methodologies that have been proven in a wide range of situations, including personal property taxes. When you follow these simple steps, your bad appraisal can soon be a thing of the past.

Tags: personal property tax, tangible personal property, property tax appeals

Why equipment appraisals are helpful when going through property tax appeals

Posted by Equipment Appraisal Services on Tue, Aug 15, 2017 @ 11:06 AM

Maybe you've been avoiding opening that envelope or are still in denial about how much you seem to owe.

When it comes to property taxes, getting a bad appraisal can mean a lot of extra time spent dealing

with government bureaucracy. But what if you could get a tool that would provide positive proof of your equipment values and help ensure you come out on the right side of your property tax appeals? An equipment appraisal can provide you with the documentation you need to make it happen.

Why equipment appraisals are helpful when going through property tax appeals


When you get a bad property tax assessment, it can be very frustrating. Many people choose not to fight a bad assessment because they think the tax assessor knows more about their equipment values than they do. However, let's take a quick look at the tax assessor's job:

  • As with virtually all government agencies, the tax assessor's office is under pressure to raise values. Why? Raising property value increases the funds available for the government budget, including the tax assessor's staff, salary, benefits and office needs.
  • The assessor is required to assess a wide range of property, including homes, raw land, farms, manufactured homes, vehicles, boats, RVs, rental properties, business properties, tools, industrial equipment - you name it, a tax assessor has probably tried to value it at some point or another.
  • Because of this broad approach to property values, it can be very easy for the assessor to make a mistake. Maybe they looked up the wrong trim level on your construction truck, found the wrong model number for your metal shop tools or thought that the injection equipment you own is five years old instead of fifteen. 

So how do you fight a bad tax appraisal? By providing proof of how much the equipment is actually worth. But before you head out to your local dealership, you'll want to bear in mind that they may also have a specific interest in estimating your equipment in one direction or another. If they want to sell you new machinery, they may tell you your existing machinery is worthless or drive up the value if they're trying to sell you a new model and want to make your trade look good.

The best option to look at when you're trying to prove your equipment values is by hiring an independent certified equipment appraiser. When you go this route, you can rest assured that the appraiser works with equipment like yours on a regular basis. They've been trained to use methodologies that hold up well to scrutiny in legal, financial, insurance and tax agency circles. The report they develop can stand up in an appeal, allowing you to pay a fair property tax on your equipment rather than an incorrect figure determined by your local tax assessment agency.

By including an equipment valuation as part of your property tax appeals process, you can ensure that you're providing solid documentation of what your machinery is actually worth rather than the tax assessor's opinion on the matter. If you do decide to use an equipment appraisal as part of your property tax appeal toolkit, remember to use a certified equipment appraiser to ensure your appraisal report will stand up to strong scrutiny in the process.

Tags: personal property tax

I Owe What?! How Equipment Appraisals Help With Property Tax Appeals

Posted by Equipment Appraisal Services on Tue, Feb 14, 2017 @ 10:22 AM

property tax appeals.jpg

We've all either had it happen or heard horror stories from friends or business acquaintances. They receive their property tax assessment and nearly have a heart attack over the high figure listed. How on earth would the tax assessor come up with a number that is so obviously incorrect? Though almost any tax agency includes a process for property tax appeals, the process can seem fairly complex. Fortunately, getting a machinery valuation for the equipment in question can help clear up any difficulties.

How Equipment Appraisals Help With Property Tax Appeals

How does an equipment appraisal help when you've had an inaccurate property tax assessment? Let's start by looking at how an inaccurate assessment is created. Typically, when a tax assessment is created, it's by a central office with one or several assessors, depending on the amount of property that is assessed every tax period. These assessors are fairly good at determining value, but the  more common a piece of equipment is, the easier it is to assess. For example, it's much easier to determine the value of a late model Toyota Camry than a relatively rare piece of specialty equipment.

To keep operations rolling, the assessor will try to determine the equipment's value, but it's relatively easy to mistake one piece of equipment for another. Is your equipment a 12 or 24 horsepower model? Does it have particular features? Were some of the features original or added after the fact? What kind of conditions was the equipment kept in? Is it being used gently or excessively? All these aspects factor in to the final value, but it's difficult for an assessor, who specializes in general asset values, to determine the exact value.

When a mistake happens in an assessment, it's a good idea to have an experienced certified equipment appraisal specialist create a valuation report. This process will take a good look at exactly what the equipment's value should be based on research and analysis. It will take into consideration not only the machine's age and features, but also its condition, the location it's been stored in, how well it's been maintained, any abuse that has happened over the years and the estimated remaining usable life span the machine is expected to have. All these different aspects can change the final appraised value of the equipment, as can current market value or the impact that industry conditions can have on resale value.

But why do you need to work with a certified appraiser? Though you could ask a local dealership to provide you with a general price, it isn't necessarily an accurate one to your situation. Did you need to have extensive work performed to install or remove the equipment? That needs to be taken into account. A dealership is interested in selling you new equipment, not providing accurate values of the equipment you already own.

When you have to deal with a tax agency about an inaccurate property tax assessment, a quality equipment appraisal provides excellent documentation for property tax appeals. Equipment values determined by a certified equipment appraiser are concluded using standardized methodologies that have been designed to hold up to scrutiny in legal, financial and insurance circles. This means the equipment valuation you've had done provides documentation all the way up the appeal process.

Tags: personal property tax, property tax appeals

Personal Property Taxes: How an Equipment Appraisal Helps You Fight an Inaccurate Assessment

Posted by Equipment Appraisal Services on Tue, May 17, 2016 @ 11:00 AM


In both our business and personal lives, we expect to have to deal with unpleasant things on occasion. Paying taxes is a task nobody wants to undertake. But when you receive personal property taxes based on an assessment that is much too high, you may wonder if there's any point in fighting the system. Fortunately, many business owners find that having a machinery valuation helps when appealing your personal property tax assessment. Here are a few reasons why you may have received a high assessment and how getting equipment appraisals can help.

Personal Property Taxes: How an Equipment Appraisal Helps You Fight an Inaccurate Assessment

How your property taxes are determined

Your local tax assessor knows a lot about property values in your area, but typically on a very broad basis. The same assessor that's responsible for assessing your personal property tax on your equipment also estimates value on your neighbor's classic '65 Mustang, the local farmer's replacement cows for their operation and your uncle's latest RV purchase. Though they use some tools, such as value estimating software, there's no replacement for experience in a specific area when it comes to determining the value of your equipment, and an assessor who is overseeing a wide range of property can make mistakes.

Where mistakes can be made on your assessment

So where exactly can these mistakes be made on your assessment? One common mistake is basing the value only on the machine's original purchase price depreciated over a set number of years. We all have equipment in our operations that is still being actively used, even when it's been fully depreciated. We've also had equipment that wears out much more quickly than the standard depreciation table, so your relatively new cabinet saw is assessed at a much higher value than what it would actually bring on the free market. Another area where mistakes are made happens when the assessor uses the wrong model or year to determine the value. If you have a base model that was from an overseas market when the manufacturer was trying to broaden their market share, the assessor could be valuing it based on the domestically-produced version with all the bells and whistles.

How having an equipment appraisal can help

If you've had an inaccurate assessment made on your equipment, having a machinery appraisal is a great way to set the record straight. When you work with a certified equipment appraiser, their appraisal report bears weight. A certified appraiser has had training in the appraisal process and methodology, using standardized approaches and techniques to determine the proper value for the machine in question. If you end up having to fight the assessment in court, a certified machine appraiser's report provides a legal basis for the revised value. Many local assessors, when faced with a professionally prepared appraisal report from a certified machinery appraiser, will consider revising their assessment to match the report.

Receiving a high assessment on your personal property taxes can be a pain, but having a certified machinery valuation helps you fight an inaccurate assessment in an appeal. If you don't know what your equipment values are and need help determining an accurate value, please feel free to contact us today to be put in contact with an experienced certified equipment appraiser.

Tags: property tax, personal property tax