Assessment appeals increase

More county property owners are challenging their assessments this year than officials anticipated, resulting in a request to the County Council for additional funds to the Board of Equalization.

The council will consider legislation authorizing a supplemental appropriation of $63,000 to the board for 2011 appeals.

When the 2011 county budget was prepared in July 2010, officials estimated 14,000 appeals would be filed this year “due to the expectation that declining property values would result in fewer appeals,” Director of Revenue Eugene Leung wrote in a letter requesting the additional funds.

However, that number has reached 18,000, Leung wrote. A total of 16,000 appeals were filed in 2009, the previous reassessment year.

The additional $63,000 would be split, with $55,000 going to Board of Equalization officers for the extra hours needed to hear all the appeals, Leung wrote. The remaining $8,000 is for temporary clerks who input the results of those appeals into the computer system and mail decision letters, he stated.