Commercial property is assessed and taxed at a higher rate than residential property. A significant increase in the assessed value of your property means a substantial hike in your property tax bill. At The Law Office of Cathy Steele, P.C., we have a successful record of challenging the county assessor's valuation. We have helped business owners across the St. Louis area save thousands — even hundreds of thousands — of dollars in annual taxes through commercial property tax appeals.
If you believe that your commercial, corporate, office, warehouse or industrial property was improperly valued, contact us today for a free initial consultation. Clayton, Missouri, tax appeal lawyer Cathy Steele represents owners in the city of St. Louis and St. Louis County, as well as St. Charles, Jefferson and surrounding counties.
Commercial Property Tax Appeals
The county reassesses real estate property values in odd-numbered years. Assessors use one of three methods to determine the fair market value of your property:
- Income approach — What a buyer could expect the property to generate in rental income, against projected operating expenses.
- Market sales approach — Valuation based on sales of similar commercial properties within the recent past, accounting for market conditions, actual square footage, age of the building and other factors.
- Cost approach — Cost of the land and cost of the building new, depreciated for age and functional, physical and economic obsolescence. This is often the method used by area assessors.
Cathy Steele has practiced in this area of the law for 35 years. She has a sophisticated understanding of the formulas and factors of each approach to valuation. She has successfully represented commercial clients before county Board of Equalization and the Missouri State Tax Commission.
In commercial property tax appeals, we often choose a different approach to valuation, or apply alternative data to the same parameters the assessor's office used. For instance, we may compare actual and estimated expenses, or challenge rental rates or sales data that do not reflect current market conditions.
— We appealed the assessments on a client's brand new warehouses, most of which were vacant. The Board of Equalization lowered the fair market value of one of the buildings by $5 million, resulting in tax savings of about $145,000 for that year.
— Ms. Steele took an appraiser on a tour of a shopping center located in a blighted area. In the official appeal, the Board reduced the fair market value by $8 million, for annual tax savings of some $200,000.
Of course, we can't guarantee such substantial results, or promise any reduction, for a specific case. But we take most property tax appeals on a contingency basis. There are no attorney's fees unless we win your appeal and lower your valuation.
To discuss a commercial or industrial property tax appeal, call our Clayton office at 314-727-7551 for a free initial consultation, or contact us online.