- Sep 3, 2011
- Professional Status
- Certified General Appraiser
It's the other way around - the IL Bar Association is suing the state for trying to discipline lawyers for unlicensed appraisal practice during tax appeals. The lawyers maintain they are merely representing their clients and shouldn't be subject to IDFPR oversight.For appraising by providing comps in property tax cases.
On the surface, I would tend to agree with the lawyers. In a government action (administrative, civil, quasi-official) vs. a citizen, I would think the citizen should have the right to be represented by an attorney if the citizen chooses to do so; the lawyer can act on behalf of the citizen and, in this case just like the citizen, can provide data and make value arguments for that citizen.I saw in the Idfpr disciplinary report that a lawyer was fined this month. I've seen these appeals and can understand what the issue is.
Yes, although I have reasons for not fully fleshing out a response to that question. But, even the most simplistic appeal would constitute filling out a form which has comparable sales and their respective characteristics. It does not have an adjustment grid, but does list a "comparable sales grid". I do not know the ins and outs of attorney regulations in the same way that I know appraisers regulations, of course, but I believe that the commercial aspect is a game changer. We can all reshingle our roof, sell our own house, or prepare our own taxes, but if we hire someone to do that, they need to have the appropriate credentials or licenses. Thus, there are no issues with the homeowner approaching the assessor, due to trying to figure out how their property can be assessed so much higher than what the identical property next door just sold for. There's even no issues with them researching comparable sales for the simple reason that they are not doing it for hire. If an appraiser fills out that form and lists a value which they believe it should be re-assessed to, I would regard it as an appraisal-or at least an appraisal service- no matter how deficient it is for USPAP purposes. I view the attorney's "scope of work" in these cases to fill out the appropriate forms and move the process along as it may...but, they cannot do something that they are not licensed for. Even the most simplistic form would require researching the comparable sales for the client, making assumptions regarding the highest and best use, determining an appropriate unit of comparison, etc. When they are compensated based on reduction in taxes, they might not be researching the "best" comparable sales, but the lowest. Even if appraisers don't have a strong moral compass to adhere to, the fear of discipline or losing one's license might keep them from selecting some of these sales, but attorneys are performing a valuation service outside of the USPAP umbrella. I remember being told about a tax appeal hearing in which the appellant's attorney brought in an "expert witness" which was a commercial broker in that town, and he offered his opinion of what the property was worth. The other side blew their top when that happened and it got shut down. How can that be cut off, yet an attorney performing more complex valuations than simply listing three comparable sales can fly?On the surface, I would tend to agree with the lawyers. In a government action (administrative, civil, quasi-official) vs. a citizen, I would think the citizen should have the right to be represented by an attorney if the citizen chooses to do so; the lawyer can act on behalf of the citizen and, in this case just like the citizen, can provide data and make value arguments for that citizen.
Is there anything in the reports you've seen that you believe creates a strong argument against the lawyers?
Denis, would your reasoning apply to a lawyer's use of comparable sale and appraisal methods in a non-tax payer situation, say a suit against a title company, broker or investor? Would a citizen have the same right to hire an attorney to act as the client's representative when a state agency is not involved?
My experience on the board led me to believe by a wide majority the members of the B o Eq believed appraisers were biased and only reporting results favorable to the homeowner. Mind you two of the nine were former brokers from California, one a retired MAI from Las Vegas, and the rest were retired assessor appraisers except me, the lone certified appraiser.their evidence is likely going to be held in less regard than the other side's independent expert (an appraiser,