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Appraisal

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Property Appraisal

Real property is defined by statue and is synonymous with REAL ESTATE. Real Estate is the physical land and appurtenances attached to the land, i.e., structures.

MARKET VALUE
Alabama law requires that property be appraised at its market value on October 1. The law defines market value as the cash price a property would sell for when it is on the market for a reasonable time; neither party is under pressure to sell or buy; both parties know all the relevant facts about the property; and each party seeks to make the best possible deal.

An important thing to remember is that the County Appraiser’s office does not create value.  People determine value by their transactions in the market place.  The Appraisal staff simply has the legal responsibility to analyze those transactions and appraise individual properties based upon what is happening in the market place.

ANNUAL EQUALIZATION
Reappraisal eliminates inequities that are created over time by changes in the real estate market, ensuring fairness and equity for all property owners.  A property’s value can change from year to year for many reasons. The most obvious is that the property changes. A bedroom, garage, or swimming pool is added, or part of the property is destroyed by flood or fire. A change in market can also cause a change in the property values.  If the appraised value of your property increases a Valuation Notice will be mailed between April and August stating the new value.

Reappraisals keep our property values fair. It’s that simple.

APPEALS
If a property owner feels that the “appraised value” placed on their property has exceeded the market value or was arrived at incorrectly they may appeal to the Lee County Board of Equalization for review. 

HOW TO APPEAL
Appeals of property values in Lee County must be received in writing and post marked within 30-days of the mailing date stated on the valuation notice.  

Please be aware failure to receive a written appeal letter within the 30-day time period will result in no further action taken for the tax year in question, unless an error is discovered..

Please mail all appeals to: 
     The Lee County Board of Equalization
     P.O. Box 3050
     Opelika, Alabama  36803-3050

In order for an appeal to be valid, in your written correspondence please state the reason for the appeal and provide substantiating documents to support any change in value.

Information necessary in your written appeal: 
     1. Include contact name, phone number and/or email address.
     2. State the purpose for the appeal;
     3. Identify the parcel (s);
     4. Attach supporting evidence for consideration;

  • recent appraisals (within last two years);
  • listing/sales contracts;
  • expired listings;
  • photographs;
  • repair receipts;
  • contractor estimates;
  • income/expense statements; three year history-itemized;
  • rent rolls;
  • leases


WHAT TO EXPECT
Upon receipt of your written appeal, if postmarked within 30 days of the date-of-mailing of the Lee County Valuation Notice, along with substantiating data for your opinion of value one or more of the following may occur:

  • An appraiser will be assigned your appeal (s);   
  • The appraiser will review your correspondence, along with your supporting documentation;
  • The appraiser will consider your request, investigate the matter and contact you;
  • If you are not satisfied with the results of the Informal Appeal, or you are not contacted a formal Board of Equalization hearing will be set for you at a later date and time (you will receive written notification of the formal hearing date and time)