Q: I'm a property owner in a redeveloping neighborhood. I bought my house for $100,000 in 2009. Its assessed value for taxes was $25,000 then. I just got my new assessment, and it's $70,000 - still obviously too low. Is there any benefit to reporting it as too low? I don't believe there is, since it being low will keep my taxes low. But is there any potential downside to having my house assessed too low by the city?
A: The short answer is "no." There should be no downside to sticking with your low assessment. Even though the new assessments are supposed to reflect market values, they are still mass assessments. They reflect broad averages of groups of comparable properties. Your assessment shouldn't harm your ability to sell your house at full market price, or to get an accurate appraisal from a bank.