Property Valuation Protests - Frequently Asked Questions
How is my value determined?
- Values are set by the Lancaster County Assessor's Office (402)441-7463 using mass appraisal techniques and by comparing similar properties and recent sales in the area.
Why did my house go up while others in my neighborhood/similar houses did not?
- Houses have different characterisitics which can lead to different valuations. Contact the Assessor's Office (402)441-7463 for more information on how values are determined.
How much will I pay in taxes/how much will my taxes go up?
- Your 2015 property value is what your 2015 property taxes will be based on. The 2015 property taxes are due in 2016. For exact tax amounts, please contact the Lancaster County Treasurer's Office (402)441-7425.
What happens if I waive my right to a hearing?
- An independent licensed real estate appraiser will review your protest and any additional information you submit before making a decision. If you have any supporting documentation, you should submit it ASAP so your protest can be reviewed.
How do I find my value online/how do I look up the values of comparable properties?
- Go to the County website and click on 'Owner' under the 'Property Search' box on the left.
How do I file online?
- Go to the County homepage and click on the 'Property Valuation Protests' link at the top of the page or put 'Protest' in the keyword/search box. Click on the 'Property Valuation Online Filing & Scheduling' link at the top of the middle section of the page. Click 'Continue with Protest Filing' at the bottom of the page after reading the instructions. Click the blue 'MyInterLinc' button in the middle of the page. Click 'JoinNow' on the right under 'New to MyInterLinc' and fill out personal information. Then log in with new MyInterLinc user id and password and click file 'single' or 'multiple' protests.
How do I know if my protest has gone through?
- If you have clicked submit and received a protest number, your protest has been successfully filed. We electronically receive your protest and your hearing date/time or decision to waive.
How do I submit additional information/supporting documentation if I filed my protest online?
- Protestors can submit additional documentation by faxing, emailing, mailing or hand delivering to the County Clerk's Office. Or they can bring the information to their referee hearing. Only one hard copy is needed. Additional information will NOT be returned to the protestor after the protest process is complete.
How long will it take for the referees to recommend a value?
- Depending on the hearing date and the volume of protests filed that year, it wll take the referee 3-4 weeks to review the protest and recommend a new valuation or no change in valuation.
Does a protest actually do anyting? How many people actually get their value changed?
- It depends on the year, but usually around 50% of protestors receive a change in valuation. (Can check the yearly stats sheets to see more specific numbers).
Will I be penalized if I waive my hearing and the referee recommends no change in value, will I have an opprotunity to have a referee hearing after that?
- No. A hearing is simply another opportunity for the protestor to present information supporting a change in valuation.
If I waive my hearing and the referee recommends no change in vlaue, will I have an opportunity to have a referee hearing after that?
- No. The next step is to appeal to the Board of Equalization, and after that a protestor may appeal to TERC.
What days and times are available for referee hearings?
- Determine property type (ag/res/comm) by asking the protestor or looking it up in internal or external Orion. Look in the Intralinc protest database by clicking on the number next to the correct property type in the 'Open Slots' box on the right of the screen.
Can I reschedule my hearing if the date/time no longer works for me?
- Yes, if there are available days/times. We do appreciate as much advanced notice as possible, but if you miss your hearing, we may be able to reschedule it for another day depending on availability. Rescheduling is not always possible in a very busy year, so please let us know as soon as possible if you need to reschedule.
Are the referees County employees?Who pays them?
- No, they are not County employees. The BOE contracts with them for the referee process only. They do not work for the Assessor's Office or the County.
Will the referee appraise my property? Will they come look at it?
- The referee will not do an appraisal of the property. The referee may request to see inside the home if necessary and will work with the owner on scheduling a walk through.
How do I appeal to TERC?
- A protestor must fill out the TERC appeal form, include the $25 free, and a copy of their final value letter and submit it to TERC before the deadline. If needed, the Clerk's office can provide an additional copy of a final value letter for a $0.25 fee. (All owners and appellants are sent one final vlaue letter per property protested) TERC forms can be found on the TERC website or one can be mailed to you.
Do I have to appeal to the BOE if I want to appeal to TERC?
- No. A protestor must file a protest at the county level for the current year if he/she eventually wants to appeal to TERC, but does not have to appeal to the Board (2nd step of the protest process) if they eventually want to appeal to the state.
Will appraisals older than one year be accepted?
- We recommend that submitted appraisals be completed within the last year. However, you may submit an older appraisal for review with your protest. There is no guarantee that the refere will accept the older appraisal value as the current market value.
How do I change my address/name of owner in the County records?
- The protest database is simply a copy of the Assessor's database information, so people need to call the Assessor's Office to permananetly change their information. We can only change informatin regarding protest mailing, so if they are protesting this year, we will need the new info for protest mailing, but the protestor will still need to notify the Assessor's Office.
The number of fixtures/squarefoot/amount of land, etc listed for my property is incorrect. How can I fix it?
- Only the Assessor's Office can change these property characteristics. The person should file a protest if they feel that their valuation is incorrect due to these mistakes.
Does anyone ever ask for their value to go up?
- If people have made improvements to the home, they may want a higher value. People trying to sell their property may also try to get their value raised.
Why can't I choose a hearing date when I am filing multiple protests online?
- A person filing 20 protests, for example, would take up 20 hearing times (each 10-15 minutes long) in the protest sytem when they may only need an hour total to discuss all their protests. For this reason, we do not let 'multiple' filers choose dates and times online. The Clerk's Office may contact the appellant regarding hearing dates/times if time allows or they may go ahead and schedule the protests. Protestors are able to waive each hearing when filing multiples, however. A protestor may call the Clerk's Office to work with them on scheduling their hearing or to reschedule if an assigned date/time does not work for them.
I lost my Myinterlinc username/passowrd. Can you tell me what it is?
- We do not have access to MyInterlinc passwords. They should click on 'login' next to My Interlinec on the top right of the screen. Then click on 'Forgot Your user ID or Password?' Then follow the instructions. We can, however, look up a MyInterlince username by searching for an old protest in Intralinc by searching their last name. If they haven't filed a protest before, they should follow the instructions above.
I'm trying to look up a property in public Orion but nothing comes up when I search.
- Try to search only by the owner's last name. Sometimes people search for 'Bill' when the owner is listed as 'William' for their first name. Try to search only part of a company name (Ex: Search 'Campbell' instead of 'Campbell's Nursery'). When searching an address, try only using part of the street (Ex: Search 'Normal' instead of 'Normal Blvd' or 'Normal Boulevard').
Should I put a value in for real property or for personal property?
- You are protesting real property. Do no put anything in the personal property box.
Can someone else go to my hearing for me?
- Yes, a representative can attend the referee hearing on your behalf.
Can I change my requested value (or anything else on the protest) after it has been submitted?
- Simply include an email, letter, or some other kind of document explaining what change you would like to make. This additional information will be included with your original protest. The referee will take all information into consideration when reviewing a protest.