What is an Abatement?
The abatement process is required in order to change tax amounts after the tax roll is delivered to the treasurer. An abatement petition is filed to process either an abatement (cancellation or reduction ) of taxes due or a refund of taxes paid. The petition can only be filed for the past two tax years. Abatement petitions may NOT be submitted for the current year.
Through the abatement process, a taxpayer has an opportunity to challenge the validity of an assessment as established by the county assessor’s office. However, although the taxpayer has the right to file an abatement, approval is not automatic. The taxpayer should be prepared to present evidence that the value or tax is incorrect. In cases where the taxpayer feels his property has been overvalued, abatement action is barred if a protest was filed during the year for which an abatement is sought.
When an abatement petition is completed and presented to the assessor’s office, the assessor makes a recommendation of approval or denial (in whole or in part) to the county commissioners. If the assessor recommends denial of a petition, the county commissioners conduct a hearing on the petition at which both the assessor and the taxpayer can present their positions to the board.
If the petition is approved by the county commissioners and the amount requested is greater than $10,000 in tax, per schedule per year, the petition is forwarded to the property tax administrator for review to ensure that the approval of the petition is in conformity with statutes and case law.
The administrator may approve the petition and return it to the county for processing, or the petition may be denied in whole or in part. If the county commissioners or the administrator deny the petition, the taxpayer is notified in writing and provided information on further rights of appeal.