See the Board's website, including Board Rules, for answers to other Frequently Asked Questions.
What is the Board of Assessment Appeals (BAA)?
Filing an Appeal
Scheduling a Hearing
What happens at the hearing?
Rule 11 and Exhibits at Hearing
Witnesses at Hearing
Representation at Hearing
Is the BAA a part of County government?
No, the BAA is a division of State government that hears appeals filed by real and personal property owners regarding the valuation placed on their property by a County Assessor. The BAA operates independently of county governments. As a result, the BAA does not have any of the documentation a taxpayer filed with a county, until a party provides it directly to the BAA.
Are the BAA and State Property Tax Administrator’s Office - the Division of Property Taxation - part of the same office?
The BAA and DPT are separate divisions, with different roles, within the Department of Local Affairs. The BAA hears appeals of counties’ valuation and classification decisions. The State Property Tax Administrator hears appeals of state assessed properties’ valuations and tax exemptions decisions. The State Property Tax Administrator’s decisions may be appealed to the BAA.
Who are the parties to the appeal?
The appealing party is called the petitioner. Often, this is the property owner/taxpayer. The party whose decision is appealed is called the respondent. Often, this is a division of a county, such as the County Board of Equalization or the County Board of County Commissioners. The party on the other side is called the “opposing party.”
What does the appeal process look like?
A petitioner files a petition and the required attachments (e.g. the county valuation or classification decision) using the BAA’s electronic case management system. The BAA reviews the petition to ensure all required information and documentation is provided. The BAA contacts the petitioner or issues an order if information is missing. When the petition is accepted, the BAA schedules a hearing date and issues a Notice of Hearing. Except in rare cases, the hearing will not be earlier than four months after the BAA has accepted the petition. Please be patient with the review process, as the BAA receives over 4000 petitions during valuation years. Following the Board Rules, the parties then submit the documents (exhibits) they wish the BAA to consider at a hearing. Following the hearing, the BAA issues a written decision resolving the appeal.
Do I have to pay for my appeal?
Taxpayers without an attorney pay no fee for the first two petitions filed, and $33.75 for the third and subsequent petitions. Attorneys and agents pay a filing fee of $101.25 for all petitions. These fees are per petition, not schedule number.
How do I file a petition?
The BAA processes all petitions through its case management system. You must have a user account to create and file a petition. You may access the case management system to create an account via the link on the BAA website. See the website links to User Guides for instructions on how to create an account and Request Access to the BAA Case Management System.
What documents must I file with a petition?
The petition form will prompt you for the required attachments. These will be the county decision(s) you are appealing. Documents you wish the Board to consider in support of your case, such as comparable sales or other evidence, should not be filed with your petition. They will be due to the Board four weeks before your hearing, under Rule 11 of Board Rules.
Can I still file an appeal even if I don’t have a decision from the County?
If you have not filed an appeal with both your County Assessor and your County Board of Equalization or Board of County Commissioners, you may not file an appeal with the BAA. If you have filed these appeals and have not received a decision, you should state that in your petition.
Is there a chance a case will not go to a hearing?
A hearing is the petitioner’s opportunity to present their case to the BAA. A case may not go to hearing if the petitioner withdraws the petition, if it is dismissed by the BAA, or if the petitioner and respondent reach an agreement that is approved by the BAA.
While my appeal is pending at the BAA, what do I do about my tax bill?
The BAA cannot offer legal advice; however, if you choose not to pay a tax bill you run the risk of being subject to interest and penalties. If the BAA lowers your assigned value and you have paid taxes in full, in most cases the difference will be refunded to you with simple interest.
Who has the option of requesting an accelerated appeal?
By statute, the BAA must advance all appeals from a decision of the Division of Property Taxation on its calendar and give that appeal precedence over other matters pending before the Board. In addition, by statute, a taxpayer’s appeal concerning the valuation of rent-producing commercial real property may be advanced on the BAA’s calendar and will take precedence over other matters if certain statutory preconditions are met and a $200 filing fee paid. All other appeals are scheduled per the BAA’s normal procedures.
Can I request a different hearing date?
Yes. A request for a different hearing date is also called a continuance request. The BAA applies Board Rule 12 when deciding whether to grant continuance requests. Parties may request one mutually agreed upon continuance using the following procedure: Contact the opposing party to confirm that they agree to continue the hearing. Agree to three dates that are within 60 days of your current hearing date. Email the BAA and the opposing party your continuance request, the reason for the request, and the three mutually-agreed upon dates. The BAA will issue an order granting or denying your request within 10 business days of receiving it.
Do I need to keep the whole day open for my hearing?
The Notice of Hearing outlines the BAA’s trailing docket process. Initially, you should keep the whole day open. No later than two weeks prior to the hearing, a specific time will be assigned for your hearing, which can be viewed on the Hearing Schedule on the BAA’s website.
What happens at a BAA hearing?
All BAA hearings are conducted via videoconference. To see an example of a hearing, watch this video. Please note that this video was prepared prior to the BAA moving to a video conference platform. If you would like to watch a BAA hearing in real time, please look at the BAA’s hearing schedule here and, on the day of a hearing, watch that hearing (live-stream) here.
At a hearing, the BAA will hear the evidence of both sides in order to decide whether the county’s valuation or classification of the appealed property is incorrect. The evidence presented may include documentary exhibits and testimony. The exhibits and a witness list must be filed electronically in the BAA’s case management system before the hearing in compliance with the Board Rules. Exhibits offered by each party in support of their asserted value may include, for example, appraisal reports, photographs of the property, contractor cost estimates, or sales data pertaining to comparable properties. Witness testimony may include, for example, the lay testimony of a property owner, or the expert testimony of an appraiser.
On what video conferencing platform will my hearing be held?
Hearings are currently being conducted on the Zoom video conferencing platform.
Who will be present at the hearing?
For most cases, at least two Board members will hear the petitioner’s case. In an appeal from a county decision, the county will be represented by an attorney. The parties’ witnesses will be present while testifying. It is likely an appraiser from the County Assessor’s Office will act as an expert witness for a county. A BAA Hearing Coordinator will record the hearing audio and act as a timekeeper.
When should I expect my hearing to be scheduled?
When a petition is accepted, the BAA schedules a hearing date and issues a Notice of Hearing. The hearing will likely not be earlier than four months after the BAA has accepted your petition.
How much time will I have to present my case?
The time specified in the Notice of Hearing is the amount of time each of the parties will have to present their cases. The time counted as the presentation of your case includes your opening statement, closing argument, presentation of testimony and evidence, and Board member questions directed to your testifying witnesses. In addition, time spent on breaks, technical difficulties, or administrative matters that may arise are divided equally between the parties and subtracted from their total hearing time. The Petitioner will present their case first.
How can I attend a hearing on Zoom if I don’t have a computer or smartphone?
You may call in to the hearing on Zoom by phone and participate via audio only. A phone number and the Meeting ID and Passcode will be provided 1 week prior to the hearing.
Can a court report attend a Zoom hearing?
The BAA allows parties to have a court reporter present at BAA video conference hearings. However, the BAA’s official hearing record is the audio recording created by the BAA. In the event of an appeal, this is the record which will be provided to a transcriptionist to create the written hearing transcript on appeal.
What are “Rule 11 documents”?
Board Rule 11 governs the exchange of exhibits, including documentary evidence, before hearing. These documents are therefore sometimes referred to as “Rule 11 documents.” There are two categories of Rule 11 documents. The initial Rule 11 documents are due to the BAA and to the opposing party 28 days before the hearing. The rebuttal Rule 11 documents are due to the BAA and to the opposing party 21 days before the hearing. These documents are automatically sent to both the BAA and the opposing party when they are uploaded to the case management system.
What is rebuttal?
Rebuttal is the reply documentation that is responsive to the opposing party’s initial Rule 11 evidence. Rebuttal must be filed 21 calendar days before hearing.
How do I get documents before the Board?
Any documents (including photographs or appraisals) that a party wishes the BAA to consider in reaching its decision must be provided to the BAA and to the opposing party 28 days before the hearing (for documents supporting your argument), and 21 days before the hearing (for documents rebutting the other side’s argument), per Board Rule 11. Then, at hearing, parties will ask the BAA to accept any documents they have offered as exhibits.
Does the BAA already have the documents from the county-level appeals?
No, the BAA will only have the documents the parties submit as part of their document exchange before hearing. The county does not automatically send all documents from county-level hearings to the BAA. Unless a party submits it as part of the Rule 11 exhibit exchange, the BAA does not receive any information or documents from previous levels of appeal. A taxpayer must provide all documents they wish to use at hearing as part of the Rule 11 exchange, even if previously submitted to the county assessor, county board of equalization, board of county commissioners, or the Property Tax Administrator. Because the hearing before the BAA is a de novo (brand new) hearing, either party may provide new and different documentation for the BAA hearing than the information that was used at previous hearings.
Are documents attached to a petition required to be resubmitted as Rule 11 documents?
Yes. Documents submitted with a petition are not automatically considered by the BAA in reaching its decision on an appeal. They must be provided to the opposing party and the BAA, under the Board’s Rule 11 exchange rules. They must also be offered into evidence at hearing.
How do I label exhibits?
Each document is a separate exhibit, and should be identified with a number or letter. Petitioners (e.g. taxpayers) should use numbers, respondents (e.g. counties) should use letters. Each exhibit should be paginated. Labeling the documents you intend to offer as evidence allows the Board members and all parties at the hearing to quickly and easily locate information in your exhibit.
How do I submit exhibits?
Users can conveniently file exhibits within their BAA case management system user account. For help with uploading your exhibits please see the linked User Guide for Rule 11 Submission.
Can I send the BAA my exhibits using Dropbox, another file transfer site, or a ZIP file?
No, due to IT security protocols the BAA does not accept Dropbox, File Transfer Sites, Download Links, or ZIP files for submission of any documents.
When do I submit exhibits?
The due date for delivery of proposed direct exhibits and witness lists is 28 calendar days before the hearing. The due date for delivery of proposed reply (rebuttal) exhibits and witness lists is 21 calendar days before hearing.
What happens if my initial filing, Rule 11, or rebuttal Rule 11 deadline falls on a weekend or holiday?
If a due date falls on a State Holiday, the due date is extended to the following working day. The State Holidays Calendar may be found on the Secretary of State’s website.
Can my Rule 11 deadline be extended?
The BAA will not accept any documents not submitted by the due date except as the interests of justice and fairness dictate in the BAA’s discretion.
Can a taxpayer offer an appraisal report prepared as part of loan financing for the subject property as an exhibit?
The BAA will consider the admissibility of each document offered at hearing. The BAA is unlikely to admit information from an appraisal report unless the authoring appraiser is available at a hearing to be questioned about the report.
Do I need to submit paper copies of my exhibits for hearing?
If your exhibits exceed 100 pages, you must mail two paper copies of them to the BAA, in addition to filing them in the case management system. Paper copies may also be required in other very limited circumstances, such as if oversized exhibits cannot be scanned. Mail your copies of exhibits by the Rule 11 filing deadline to ensure staff has ample time to mail them to Board members. Hand delivery can be scheduled ahead of time by calling or emailing; staff is working a hybrid schedule.
How do I subpoena a witness to appear at a BAA hearing?
File your request for issuance of a subpoena using the case management system. Along with your request, file the proposed subpoena. Within the case management system, underneath the blue filing buttons, click the long green button titled “Get BAA Downloadable Documents and Templates” button to access a subpoena template. Subpoena forms are also available on the BAA website. The BAA will issue a signed subpoena through the case management system. You must then serve the subpoena, and file the proof of service or waiver of service.
Do I need an attorney for a BAA hearing?
Hearings before the BAA are quasi-judicial proceedings, similar to courtroom trials. Hearings are adversarial, with the taxpayer as the petitioner and the county or Property Tax Administrator as the respondent. A respondent will be represented by an attorney. A petitioner may choose to be represented by an attorney. In certain cases involving entity petitioners, an attorney may be required.
Can a property’s value be increased at a BAA hearing?
Yes, if the evidence shows that a property’s assigned value should be higher, the BAA may order that it be raised.
What are the potential outcomes of a BAA hearing?
The value of the subject property may be lowered, stay the same, or be raised. If classification is an issue, the classification of the subject property may change.