April 14, 2015
Contact: Colene McEntee, Public Affairs Coordinator, 636-949-1864, firstname.lastname@example.org
St. Charles County, Missouri – With real estate assessments scheduled to mail in April, Scott Shipman, St. Charles County Assessor, advises homeowners to think twice before using valuation services. For a fee, these services offer to help consumers determine if they are overpaying their property tax bill because their property is overvalued, as well as offer materials to help appeal property values.
“The service they provide is inferior to the service our office provides or what a homeowner can research on their own, or discuss with our office, at no cost,” said Shipman. “They do not perform due diligence in their services, which bogs down the appeals process with inaccurate appeals and wastes time and taxpayer dollars.”
Shipman said that in many cases, the information presented by these companies is generated without regard to important aspects such as location of property, size, architectural type, condition, lot size, etc., and is usually of little relevancy to the market value. In addition, Shipman said that representatives or tax agents performing appraisal or valuation analysis must be certified or licensed in the state of Missouri. Additionally, offers to provide market value to contest assessments based on contingent fees are in violation of Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice.
Many of these valuation services buy public data and use information that St. Charles County homeowners can access for free via the Assessor’s web site, http://assessor.sccmo.org, or by coming into the Assessor’s Office. Rather than pay for a service, concerned homeowners can make an appointment to discuss their real estate assessment, check to ensure property characteristic information is correct, and discuss sale(s) information.
Further details about real estate assessments and appeals can be found on the Assessor’s website under Real Estate or by calling 636-949-7425.