Litigation and Tax Appeals

Your case hinges on the right expert witness

Just like the old adage, “never bring a knife to a gunfight”, when it comes to marina appraisal litigation, hire THE industry expert.  You’ve picked the best attorney and are spending a lot on legal fees – why jeopardize your case by hiring an un-expert expert witness?  Marina appraisal litigation is what John Simpson, MAI does.  He has the marina books, the marina articles, and the reputation to take on the toughest marina valuation problems.

Need proof?  Take a look at his marina qualifications.  It’s all right there for your perusal.  Marina appraisal litigation is unique, it requires marina industry expertise, and a whole lot of marina valuation experience.  And one other thing… the company isn’t called for nothing.  We appraise marinas!

Case dismissed.

Free Advice

Check out the blogs below for a lot of free litigation advice, centered on tax appeals.  It’s priced right!

Tax Appeals FAQs

What is the tax appeal process?

Although each state has a slightly different protocol, the tax appeal process is similar.  First, you hire an appraiser to determine the value of the property; this can be done through your attorney if you wish.  The appraiser can prepare a restricted report to determine a value range and what the tax savings would be.  In these instances, we would contact you and discuss the potential real estate tax savings and the appraisal fee.  If the tax savings justify the appraisal fee, we would prepare a more detailed appraisal report and you would file the tax appeal forms (they are quite simple).  Depending on the state, we would go through one or more hearings before various tax appeal boards, present the case, defend the appraisal and, if necessary, assist in negotiating an assessment reduction.  You retain final say on any decision.

Do I need to hire an attorney or can you do it all for me?

That depends on you.  Marina owners almost always have legal representation when going into tax court.  Their experience is especially important for direct and cross-examination of the assessor or appraiser for the other side.  They are also well trained in negotiation, so you may get a favorable result without going to trial.

How much does it cost?

Marinas are so different and there are so many variables involved that the only way to give you an exact price quotation is to call us or email us to discuss your property and the situation.

What about tax consultants?  Should I hire one?

Tax consultants can also provide a tax appeal service, but it’s very different from what we provide and what your attorney can bring to the table.  They don’t know the marina market and they rarely can argue the factors that make your marina warrant a tax appeal reduction.  They charge you a percentage of the tax savings, usually 33 to 50 percent, so if they don’t win you won’t have to pay them anything.  On the other hand, you’ll usually find that if they win, the cost to you will be substantially more than an appraisal fee.

If the appraisal fee is a problem, by all means consider a tax consultant or hire an attorney on a contingent fee basis.  Keep in mind that if the tax consultant is a licensed or certified appraiser, by law they cannot charge a contingent fee.  The assessors know that and it is only too easy for them to get the case dismissed citing violations with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice.  Also, remember that they are perceived by assessors and tax courts as a biased, interested party, whereas the appraiser is an unbiased third party.  Simply put, it’s harder to win from that position than it is to hire an appraiser, who is an uninterested third party and an expert in determining the market value that an assessment is based upon.

How do I know I will win?

Although no one can guarantee that you’ll win, John Simpson, MAI is the foremost marina appraisal expert in the country.  Take a look for yourself by viewing his qualifications or his resume.

What happens if I don’t win?

The easiest way to find out if you have a marina with a market value that would result in a satisfactory reduction from assessed value is to hire us to do a restricted appraisal.  You can then compare the tax savings to see if they cover our our fee and those of your attorney (if used).  We will research the market and inspect the subject.  We then notify you where our value conclusion will fall.  If it looks like the value conclusion will not provide sufficient tax savings, you can then cancel the assignment, thereby avoiding the higher fee of write a full appraisal.  Unless the municipality has a policy of updating assessments annually, the tax savings will accrue for more than one year, so keep that in mind when determining if the tax savings are sufficient to proceed further.  For instance, if they reassess every three years and you are at the beginning of the cycle, your savings would be over three years, making a tax appeal more profitable.

Of course, as an independent third party, we cannot guarantee a winning case.

What other tax appeal services go along with the appraisal?

In addition to preparing the appraisal report, we offer expert witness testimony, pre-trial consultation, and technical review of opponent appraisals.  We also offer restricted appraisals.  If the restricted appraisal value conclusion does not result in sufficient savings to proceed further, you can cancel the assignment and incur a much lower fee for the restricted report than a more detailed and time consuming full report.

Why should I hire

  • Experience – John Simpson, MAI has decades of experience appraising marinas and he knows their nuances.
  • Knowledge – with decades of experience at John’s fingertips, he can provide the knowledge and insight you need for a high quality value determination.
  • Quality Reports – John is the foremost marina expert in the country and the only marina appraisal book author.   He can develop marina cap rates and market support that a general purpose appraiser cannot.  The reports are more highly detailed and explained better than typical commercial appraisal written by a general purpose appraiser, which is the benefit of hiring a highly published author.  The quality of the report reflects his knowledge.
  • Professional Designations – John holds the MAI designation from the Appraisal Institute.  Click here for his qualifications.  Click here for his resume.
  • Competitive Fees and Delivery times – call our competition for their estimates; we’re certain you’ll be back!  To see our delivery times, read the descriptions of some of our marina valuation portfolio.

Can I reuse the appraisal for multiple purposes?

Technically, if you want to use our appraisal for more than one purpose, you need our permission.  Many financial institutions will not accept an appraisal performed for one of their competitors unless the first source provides a written release.  When the appraisal is done for some purpose other than a tax appeal, we are not required to testify should you submit the appraisal for an assessment reduction.

How can I order an appraisal?

You can call us or email us.