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Abatement

Abatements

Abatement is the process by which valuations that are found to be excessive, in error or illegal may be corrected. The statutes provide that a property owner who believes his local property valuation is excessive must seek relief through a written request to the local assessor(s), made within 185 days of the date the tax was committed to the tax collector (which is usually shortly before the tax bill is mailed) stating the abatement request, and the reasons for requesting the abatement.

If the taxpayer is dissatisfied with the decision of the local assessor(s), he may appeal within 60 days to the county commissioners; further appeal may be to the Superior Court within 30 days.  (In those municipalities which have adopted a board of assessment review, appeals which elsewhere could be made to the county commissioners must be made to the local board of assessment review.) Except that appeal pursuant to assessment under Current Use Law is to the State Board of Property Tax Review.

A taxpayer does not lose his right to request abatement because of failure to file a list of his taxable property with the assessor(s) unless he was specifically requested by mail by the assessor(s) to furnish a list, and failed to do so.

A property owner's personal opinion that his or her property assessment is too high is insufficient basis for granting an abatement.  There is a presumption of correctness on the part of the assessor.  In order to prevail, the property owner must submit some clear and convincing evidence that the property was overvalued by more than 10%.