Equalization is the raising, or lowering, of the government-assessed value of taxed property.
The purpose of equalization is to ensure that the taxes for taxable property are a uniform percentage of the property's government-assessed value across different tax districts. Equalization prevents against paying high property taxes in one tax district, while paying low property taxes in another tax district for the same piece of property.
Equalization typically becomes an issue in three contexts:
Each state or municipality has its own administrative agency, usually called a Board of Tax and Appeals, which makes the specific findings regarding your taxable property's market value. They also decide what the equalization ratio between two tax districts should be. A separate agency, normally called a Board of Equalization and Assessments, has the power to actually change your tax liability for that tax district in regard to the taxable property.
Because of the highly technical nature of equalization, it is strongly recommended that you find a tax attorney to represent your interest. Only a tax attorney will be able to adequately explain the issue, advise you of your rights, and guide you through the process of equalization.
Last Modified: 12-29-2014 10:29 AM PSTLaw Library Disclaimer
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