What is the Difference Between a Hearing Officer and a Board Hearing?
HEARING OFFICER PROGRAM
The Hearing Officer Program is only available for appeals on single-family dwellings, condominiums, cooperatives or multiple family dwellings of 4 units of less. Hearing fees do not apply to applications heard under the Hearing Officer Program.
All Assessment Appeals Board commissioners act as Hearing Officers. A Hearing Officer performs the same duties as the commissioners sitting for a Board Hearing, except a Hearing Officer can only hear applications for single-family dwellings, condominiums, cooperatives or multi-residential dwellings of 4 units of less.
If you have elected and qualify for the Hearing Officer Program, the proceedings are less formal than a Board Hearing. You and a representative from the Assessor’s office appear before one commissioner, sitting as a Hearing Officer for the Assessment Appeals Board. The Hearing Officer will hear testimony and evaluate the evidence from both parties.
When you come to the hearing, you must bring 3 sets of whatever documents you want to submit in support of your value. If the property at issue is an owner-occupied, single family residence or condominium, the Assessor’s representative will be asked to present its case first. Then you will be asked to state your opinion of value and present the facts that you rely on to support your value. Both you and the Assessor’s representative may question each other about the other’s evidence. At the end of the hearing, the Hearing Officer will usually make a recommendation of value.
If either you or the Assessor’s representative does not agree with the recommended value, both parties have 14 days from the Hearing Officer’s decision to notify our office in writing. If the recommended value is timely rejected by either party, the application will be scheduled for a new hearing before a 3-member Board panel for final disposition.
If you do not specifically request a Hearing Officer, your application will automatically be scheduled for a Board Hearing, and appropriate hearing fees will apply.
A Board Hearing is conducted in a quasi-judicial manner by a 3-member panel, one of which who will chair the hearing. The appeal applications scheduled for a given day are called out by the clerk. You will be asked to step forward and take a seat at the table to the right of the Board for the hearing of your appeal. An oath will be administered to both parties by the clerk. The clerk will then determine if you or the Assessor has the burden of proof in order to establish which party will present its case first.
You must bring 5 sets of whatever documents you are relying on to support your value to a Board Hearing. Both you and the Assessor’s representative will present your respective case before the Board. You will be allowed to cross-examine each other regarding the evidence presented, and both parties will be given the opportunity to give closing arguments or provide a summary to the Board regarding your appeal. Immediately following your hearing, the Board may announce its decision, or the Board may take your appeal under submission, deliberate in private, and issue its decision at a later date. Please note the decision from a Board Hearing is final.
Please note the Assessment Appeals Board has two years from the date an application is timely filed to hear and render a decision. Filing an application for reduced assessment does not relieve the taxpayer from the obligation to pay the taxes on the subject property on or before the applicable due date shown on the tax bill. If a reduction is granted, a proportionate refund of the taxes paid will be made by the County.