How to get a refund if my town over assessed property tax on my motorhome?
Question Details: My partner and I purchased a new motor home 7 months ago. We received a partial property car tax bill in December of last year and then another full property tax bill in July. When we received the full property tax bill, we noticed that the town over assessed the motor home by approximately $50,000 more then we paid for the vehicle brand new. We were able to protest that July bill and the town admitted fault. We were refunded $1000. However, the town assessor's office is refusing to refund us the difference on the partial tax bill that we paid for in December. When we spoke to the assessor they stated that it was out of their hands and that if we hire a lawyer they would not fight it. We consider this a clerical error and don't feel that we would have to hire a lawyer to fight it.
But you do have to fight it in court if you want the money: court is the way--the ONLY way--to get someone (including a town) to pay money which they owe you but refuse to pay voluntarily; only the court can order payment. So if they will not voluntarily pay you, you have to sue.
Whether it's worth hiring a lawyer or whether you should try to represent yourself "pro se" (as your own attorney)--or simply give up on the refund--depends on how much is at stake. Assuming a lawyer will cost $1,500 or more (possibly considerably more). Assume that even if the town does not fight this, if you act as your own lawyer, you will give up at least 1 -2, possibly more, full work days. On that basis, decide whether to hire an attorney, to sue on your own, or to give up on the refund.