If you own a business in Orleans, including the premises at which your business resides, the real estate tax for your property is determined through a careful annual analysis of income and expense statements (we call them I&E’s) taken in concert with recent sales activity and the depreciated cost of your buildings. You may recollect that the Assessing office mails blank I&E forms out to you around March of each year. On these forms we ask you to provide the three most recent years’ worth of income your business has earned and list the qualified expenses you’ve incurred in that same time frame.
Why do we do this? Our business in this office is trying to figure out each property’s fair cash value, or the price it could expect to fetch on the open real estate market should you decide to put it up for sale. Someone who is looking to buy commercial or industrial real estate is looking at the property as investment opportunity. That buyer is going to be mostly concerned with 1.) how much income the property can generate and 2.) how much it’s going to cost in expenses to ensure a maximum return on investment.
Because these two things factor so heavily in the potential sale price, we feel that the best way to give your commercial property a fair assessment is to have a look at that data. So…we don’t send you those forms every year to be a pain; we do it because we want to make absolutely certain that your value is as fair as we can possibly make it. This is also why failure to return an I&E to Assessing in a timely manner jeopardizes your rights to appeal your assessment.
Commercial and industrial properties are also subject to same property inspection rules as residential properties. The assessor or a representative of our office will be visit your property if you 1.) pull a building permit to do construction work on the property, 2.) file an abatement appeal on your property’s value or 3.) to ensure that we do at least one inspection at each property in town over the course of a ten-year period.