This post is specifically for residents in Arizona but who knows if this scam is not going on elsewhere throughout the country. A company called “Property Tax Review Board” or PTRB for short is sending out letters promising homeowners that they can help homeowners reduce their property tax bills for the 2009 tax year for a fee of $189.
Don’t do it – it is a scam!
“These letters are designed to look as if they are coming from a government agency, but are nothing more than an attempt at charging Arizona residents for something they can easily do on their own for free,” Matthew Fehling, BBB President/CEO said.
The letters state that due to the drop in property values, residents need to file again for a reassessment of their 2009 property taxes. However, according to the Maricopa County Assessor’s Office the deadline to file for an administrative review for a possible reduction for the 2009 tax year expired in April 2008.
What that simply means is that you will be throwing your money away. So best advice is to simply throw the letters away or if you want to throw your money away for a service you can do yourself for free, send it to me. 😉
Postscript: If you look at the comments below, PTRB has defended their action and has indicated that the service they are offering would be for the 2010 tax year. While it is not a scam to offer a “pay-for” service to appeal a homeowner’s property tax assessment, even though the homeowner can do it on their own, I took issue with the fact that the letter PTRB mailed out was not clear on the tax year they’d appeal and suggested that future mailings should be more clear.
So, my original rant was based on the fact that the letter led me to believe they were offering a pay-for service to appeal my 2009 property tax assessment, of which the deadline to appeal has expired.
If in fact PTRB will file an appeal for 2010, then what they are offering is not a scam. However I still feel they should be more forthright in their advertising. Enough said.