How to protest your valuation

Important dates and information about the valuation protest process

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The basics

Nebraskans have until June 30 to challenge their property valuations. You can protest even if your valuation remained the same as the previous year. Counties hire independent appraisers, called referees, to evaluate protests and make recommendations to the County Board of Equalization.

If you live in Douglas, Sarpy or Lancaster Counties, you can also schedule an informal hearing with the assessor to make your case before filing a formal protest. Check with the assessor's office in your county for deadlines to schedule an informal hearing.

Collect your evidence

If you think your home warrants a lower valuation and you are considering a protest, collect evidence to prove your point. You could pay for a private appraisal, which will provide a more accurate account than an assessor's mass appraisal.

Other steps

Here are some other steps you can take, depending on your situation.

Deterioration

Take photographs that show structural deterioration. Obtain professional estimates of needed repair work.

Inaccurate records

Present documentation of the home's square footage, number of rooms, features such as decks or pools and other information to correct mistakes in records. Take photographs to show your home's layout.

Soft market

Provide a recent purchase agreement, which can help indicate the home's market value. Detail marketing efforts by the seller, the length of time the house spent on the market and reductions in the asking price before a sale, to help establish market value.

Valuation is higher than comparable homes

Find valuations for similar neighborhood homes. Collect sale prices of other neighborhood homes, which could show a market trend in your neighborhood.

Where to file

In Douglas County

The protest must be made in writing. After the informal hearings, there are no face-to-face meetings. Deliver or mail to:

Douglas County Board of Equalization
1819 Farnam St.
Omaha, NE 68183

You can also file online — but only until June 21. Visit the Douglas County Board of Equalization website for more information: www.boardofequalization.org

In Sarpy County

Sarpy County property owners can meet with referees. You'll find protest forms and other information at www.sarpy.com/boe. You can fill out the form online, but you have to print it out and mail or deliver to this address:

Sarpy County Clerk
1210 Golden Gate Drive
Papillion, NE 68046

The Curbwise Report

If you live in Douglas or Sarpy Counties, you can buy a custom report from The World-Herald that may help make the case for a valuation reduction.

Our comparison engine looks for similar homes based on valuation per square foot and recent sales in nearby areas. It also looks for market trends that could benefit a protest. We'll give you a list of the best comps to help you get a reduction.

The report costs $29.95. You can view a sample report — and a summary of your own report — before you buy.

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Key dates

In Douglas County

  • June 1: First day for filing protests.
  • June 21: Last day to file online protest.
  • July 1: Last day to file protests with the Board of Equalization. Mail-in protests must be postmarked by today.
  • Aug. 10 (approximate): The board decides on protests. Results are sent to homeowners within seven days.
  • Sept. 10: Last day to file appeals with the Nebraska Tax Equalization and Review Commission. Fee: $25

In Sarpy County

  • June 1: First day for filing protests.
  • June 21: Last day to file protests with the Board of Equalization. Protests must be postmarked by 4:45 pm. on July 1.
  • June 24 - July 18 (approximate): Individual referee hearings.
  • Aug. 2: The board decides on protests. Results are sent to homeowners within seven days.
  • Aug. 24: Last day to file an appeal with the Nebraska Tax Equalization and Review Commission. Fee: $25