Smith, Gendler, Shiell, Sheff, Ford & Maher marked its 30th year of service to the real estate and investment community in 2017. Many clients have been with us for all or most of the firm's existence. The reasons are simple:
Focus: No other law firm in Minnesota has five attorneys and a former city assessor devoted exclusively to property tax representation. Markets and tax laws can change constantly, and we serve our clients best by concentrating on the factors that lead to fair and reasonable assessments and taxes.
Experience: Each of us has many years of significant experience in the Minnesota property tax system. We have worked on all property types; have handled cases in every major jurisdiction; and understand what is important in a successful property tax appeal.
Background: Most of us have handled significant property tax matters for taxing jurisdictions earlier in our careers, so we understand how assessed values are established, and what is important to assessors in resolving a property tax claim. Because we have cases in every major jurisdiction, we understand the local markets, and the concerns of the city or county assessor.
Resources: Our practice includes the most up-to-date technologies and databases to ensure precision, efficiency, and targeted approaches to valuation reduction. We are leaders in implementing the electronic transmission of statutorily mandated information to counties in the tax appeal process. We subscribe to property transaction services and network with appraisers to ensure our grasp of important comparable sale data that can turn a case.
Local Knowledge: Property tax systems are different in each state. Few states have as complex a system as Minnesota. We understand the statutory and case law nuances that can impact tax reduction arguments.
Staff: Our staff is accomplished in implementing the systems that allow us to navigate the property tax system, its deadlines and changing legal requirements for statutorily mandated data production. They can analyze lease and income data, and incorporate that information into valuation analyses.
Team Approach: Our attorneys and our former city assessor work in teams of two and three on many cases. We add fee appraisers and other real estate professionals to the team as needed. This is important, because in many jurisdictions assessors and county attorneys work together, and often hire fee appraisers as part of their defense of an assessment. We achieve results with the right team.