The assessment has to be whatever the fair market value is, if they assessed your property at $1 million and you can prove its worth $500K then they have to adjust it to that. To prove it you can do various things like provide recent selling prices for similar properties, proof that things they assessed that would add value are incorrect like in my case the wrong sq. footage, wrong heat and and extra 1/2 floor that has magically appeared. The preferred method of course is to have an appraisal done which of course cost $$$.
I haven't heard any widespread complaints about people that have appealed not getting a fair shake but the point is that the way they did this there is no way that it can be accurate. They paid $8 million to have this done and I wouldn't doubt that every property is wrong to some degree. They didn't go into houses but as best I can gather they walked around, took some measurements and guessed at the rest. For example they have my house as a 2 1/2 story house, that means that the attic is finished. It's big enough to do that but its not finished and they would have no way of knowing that unless they looked. They have our house down as gas heat too which I'd imagine would increse the value compared to coal...
Yea right.. They corrctly have our basement down as unfinished but again they have no way of knowing that.
There's the flip side of the coin too, you can bet that many houses were under assessed, you know they won't be appealing. This is supposed to be a fair process so everyone is paying their fair share and it's anything but that.