› Small Claims Tax (ST) › Tax Court (TX) › Civil (CV) (property tax related) › All property types: Residential, Commercial, Land, Personal Property and IPRs
Two Years Ago -- February 2010 2 Lit. Appraisers - review settlement recommendations Field appraisers - five satellite offices, plus downtown No control over the processing of litigation cases 2 Lit. Clerks – Data Entry, Open & Close Files, Tax Appeal Settlement Recommendations (TASRs), and Judgments in all Small Claims Tax cases and all Tax Court cases 12+ week wait to process TASRs and Judgments Approximately 1,300 new Small Claims Tax Appeals and 1,000 new Tax Court Appeals – 2,300 litigation total cases
Several months later, the Assessor Administration decided to implement an office-wide reorganization including expanding the Litigation Division. Reorganization occurred in April/May 2011. Reorganization of Litigation Processes has been ongoing for approximately 2 years.
Litigation Division handles all Small Claims Tax and Tax Court appeals Litigation staff has increased: › Tracy Johnston, MAI – Litigation Appraiser Supervisor 4 Litigation Consultants/Senior Appraisers – Review all TX cases 5 Appraisers – Review all ST cases Appraisers review plaintiff data, conduct a cost, market sales and/or market income analysis, and evaluate every litigation case for settlement or trial
› Stephanie Wolfe – Paralegal / Support Staff Supervisor 6 Support Staff (3 Small Claims & 3 Tax Court) Support staff responsibilities include data/case entry and tracking, opening and closing files, processing TASRs and court judgments. TASR and Judgment turnaround time is now 24 hours in most cases.
County Attorney sends Assessor the Complaint Clerks enter case into Litigation Tracking and Creates File ST Cases – Process › File assigned to an Appraiser to review case and data provided by plaintiff; › Appraiser conducts cost, market sales and/or market income analysis; › Appraiser contacts plaintiff; › Appraiser makes a settlement offer or prepares evidence packet for plaintiff and court commissioner for trial.
TX Cases: Process as of January 2012: › File goes to the Records Center until we receive disclosure documents and an offer from the plaintiff; › When plaintiff sends initial disclosure documents and offer, MCAO forwards information to the Litigation Division; › Division Director or Appraiser Supervisor will assign case to an Appraiser;
› Within 10 business days from the date the Director or Supervisor assigns the case to the Appraiser, the Appraiser will inform the assigned County Attorney of the following: Appraiser will provide the County Attorney with a settlement offer; and/or Appraiser will inform County Attorney what additional information is needed from the Plaintiff; and/or Appraiser will inform the County Attorney that more time is needed to review the case and provide an estimate as to when the review will be completed
10 Business Day TX Process Qualifier : › The 10 business day process may not be possible or practical if the Division receives a high number of initial disclosures and offers at one time, if there are staffing issues or if other difficulties arise. › Should any of these occur, the review timeframe will be extended to 15 or 20 business days as necessary.
The 10 business day review applies only to newly assigned cases, not older, previously assigned cases. The purpose of this process is to give the County Attorney prompt feedback on new cases so they may either be resolved more expediently or so the attorney may inform the plaintiff early on what additional information is needed. Once the appraiser receives the requested information, the appraiser will respond as soon as practical based on an evaluation of their individual case assignments.
Litigation is focusing its efforts on reviewing older cases first Special Requests: Occasionally a case must be addressed more quickly than expected › Every special request delays the processing of other cases › 30 different attorneys have filed property tax cases in the past several years. If 15 of them ask for one special request a month, 15+ cases will be delayed depending on the amount of time needed for us to work that case › Special requests will be addressed on a case by case basis before a final determination can be made whether to move it up the queue
Give us all appraisals concerning the subject that have been done in the past 4 or 5 years. Income Properties: Provide rent rolls, 3 years of income and expense info and/or profit and loss statements, and leases. Sales Comparison: Provide the sales that are comparable to the subject property. Please – Send us more than just the same information packet that you submitted at the Assessor and SBOE levels of appeal.