Free consultation service is response to marketís demand
I would like to respond to Ms. Eilersen's letter in the Jan. 16 edition pertaining to the advertisement I placed in Jan. 9 issue.
My advertisement was regarding a new service many clients have asked me to provide. That service is to help them in appealing their property taxes. I just responded to the market demand for a service in helping people pay less in taxes. Surely, Ms. Eilersen wouldn't protest that I am helping some people save money.
In my ad I simply stated that those persons who think their home is over-assessed for today's decreasing market may be able to save some money on their property taxes. I did not go into detail about how taxes are calculated pertaining to the differences between Taxable Value (TV) and State Equalized Value (SEV) because I had discussed that in a previous advertisement and had very limited space to discuss a complex topic. I thought it better to explain the process during the free consultation that I offered.
In the free initial consultation, I review a homeowner's property tax data and explain how taxes are calculated. I then give them my professional opinion as to their chances of getting a lower tax bill by appealing their SEV. I have already informed many clients during this free consultation that there would be no chance of them getting a lower tax bill because their TV was well below their SEV (50% of what their home is supposed to be worth). A slight reduction in their SEV would not be enough to have it fall below their TV so they would realize no tax savings by appealing. Their SEV may have been too high based on current market conditions but their TV was far less. Thus, my services would not have been beneficial. This scenario is common for those who have lived in their homes for many years.
The homeowners with whom I consulted were very glad to have the process explained and appreciated that I tried to help them. There was absolutely no cost to those homeowners. That is the point of the free consultation I offer. I can educate them about the process using their specific tax information and tell them whether it is worth their time or money to appeal their SEV.
Those that have a TV equal to or close to their SEV could see potential savings by appealing their SEV. The law provides that your TV cannot exceed your SEV so if you can get your SEV adjusted so that it will be less than your current TV then by law the TV must be lowered and you, the homeowner, will save money.
My service has always been to assist the homeowner in saving money on their property taxes if their individual circumstances warrant it.
I have been a member of this community my entire life and have been a proud small business owner for the last 15 years. I've worked hard and I pride myself on being an ethical and moral person who helps people, not one who takes advantage of people. I've built my company around a philosophy of helping people save money. The new tax appeal service I advertised is just a continuation of my business practice.
Alex Lengemann, Owner/Broker, RealtyVolution.com
January 23, 2008