For a person who owns a business, making sure that property tax valuations are correct is a serious concern. If the valuation is too high, you might end up paying more than what you should have to pay. If it is too low, you won't pay enough. For Lowe's, a property tax valuation issue has been an ongoing fight with one county assessor's office since February of 2013, when the company filed an appeal with the Board of Property Tax Appeals.
While the company's appeal was denied, that wasn't the last avenue Lowe's had to appeal the tax valuation. They then took the case to the Magistrate's Division of the Oregon Property Tax Court. At that point, the city of Lebanon and Lynn County pooled their resources to hire an independent appraisal service and outside legal counsel. That appeal was heard in September of 2013. In January of 2014, the Magistrate ruled against Lowe's and upheld the county's valuation of the land.
Lowe's then filed an appeal of that ruling with the Regular Division of the Oregon Tax Court. That appeal was slated to be heard in November, but in an almost shocking turn of events, Lowe's has dropped the appeal. A representative of Lowe's contacted the county assessor's office with the news. This means that Lowe's tax bill will remain at around $1.5 million instead of dropping to around $800,000 if they appeal was successfully argued.
This case shows that there are avenues available to argue tax valuations of property when property owners don't agree with what the county claims is the proper valuation of the property. Knowing the process for filing civil appeals can help to make the process easier.
Source: Albany Democrat-Herald, "Lowe's withdraws $39 million property tax appeal" Alex Paul, Jul. 12, 2014