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Preparing for your property tax appraisal protest hearing

About: Property tax, property valuation, council tax, legaltech.

 

To win the review board is a matter for excellence in preparation. One of the most convincing motivation that the board will hear is that the value of your property is lower than expected because of damages, cracks, unfinished works, cosmetic issues, etc.., and to present these with strong digital evidences.

Allow me to clarify a common practice that is very relevant in these property specific cases.
Most people take pictures of the issues including from a newspaper.  These pictures only show digital evidence taken after a specific moment.
It is a good practice but yet quite insufficient.

Three more important things are missing for digital evidence to have a higher probative value and thus be really legally relevant.
1. Proof that the digital evidence was taken “before” and not “after” a specific moment in time. Which is the normal and traditional timestamping meaning, exactly as it was happening in the old mail offices, when an officer was sealing a paper document with a timestamp.
2. Proof of the integrity of the digital evidence, meaning that the content has not been fraudulently manipulated after a specific moment.
3. A governmental authority certifying the four legally relevant properties of the digital evidences mentioned before (not before, not after, integrity, public authority).

The European Union has established a comprehensive working system for trusted & qualified certification authorities, for this purpose. Since it is the most restrictive standard in the world it certainly has a very high legal relevance throughout the world.

Certifydoc made this certification process easy for everyone via the https://www.certifydoc.eu platform.

Trusted qualified timestamping is a WW standard based on the EU eIDAS regulation: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=uriserv%3AOJ.L_.2014.257.01.0073.01.ENG

My final advice for this specific case is also to make also short videos because they provides additional advantages compared to pictures only.

  • They are more difficult to manipulate than pictures
  • More than one person can be present in the video, thus providing an important opportunity, where applicable, to testify in court
  • It is possible to talk while the video goes showing the status of the house
  • The newspaper title can be shown or simply referred to

The combination of videos, pictures and any other electronic document can then be  certified and received in few seconds via email also using a mobile device, ready for presentation at the Property Tax Appraisal Protest Hearing.

Please feel free to use it and send me feedback.

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Mario Scalabrino

CEO at Certifydoc
Mario loves to read and write articles. He also loves to share knowledge especially if it’s likely to have social or cultural influence. Since he detests fake news, he always carefully verifies the sources of his articles. He is enthusiastic about science, nature, dancing, partying and people, but not necessarily in that order. A high tech entrepreneur and a forensic consultant, he holds an MSE in Electronic Engineering and a Master in Mediations and Conflicts Resolution. He was also an International Software Sales Director and an Armed Forces Officer in Forensic Scientific Investigation. Mario loves people who demonstrate tolerance, equality and respect for everyone. Follow Mario on LinkedIn or on Twitter
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