§11-3-24. Review and equalization by county commission.
(a) The county commission shall annually, not later than February 1 of the tax year, meet as a board of equalization and review for the purpose of reviewing and equalizing the assessment made by the assessor. The board shall not adjourn for longer than three business days at a time, not including a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday in this state, until this work is completed. The board may adjourn sine die anytime after February 15 of the tax year and shall adjourn sine die not later than the last day of February of the tax year.
(b) At the first meeting of the board, the assessor shall submit the property books for the current year, which shall be complete, except that the levies shall not be extended. The assessor and the assessor’s assistants shall attend and render every assistance possible in connection with the value of property assessed by them.
(c) The board shall proceed to examine and review the property books, and shall add on the books the names of persons, the value of personal property and the description and value of real estate liable to assessment which was omitted by the assessor. The board shall correct all errors in the names of persons, in the description and valuation of property, and shall cause to be done whatever else is necessary to make the assessed valuations comply with the provisions of this chapter. But in no case shall any question of classification or taxability be considered or reviewed by the board.
(d) If the board determines that any property or interest is assessed at more or less than 60 percent of its true and actual value as determined under this chapter, it shall fix it at 60 percent of its true and actual value: Provided, That no assessment shall be increased without giving the taxpayer at least five days’ notice, in writing, of the intention to make the increase and no assessment shall be greater than 60 percent of the true and actual value of the property.
(e) Service of notice of the increase upon the taxpayer shall be sufficient, or upon his or her agent or attorney, if served in person, or if sent by registered or certified mail to the property owner, his or her agent, or attorney, at the last known mailing address of the person as shown in the records of the assessor or the tax records of the county sheriff. If such person cannot be found and has no last known mailing address, then notice shall be given by publication thereof as a Class I legal advertisement in compliance with the provisions of §59-3-1, et seq. of this code and the publication area shall be the county. The date of the publication shall be at least five days, not including a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday in this state, prior to the day the board acts on the increase. When the board intends to increase the entire valuation in any one tax district by a general increase, notice shall be given by publication thereof as a Class II-0 legal advertisement in compliance with the provisions of §59-3-1, et seq. of this code and the publication area shall be the county. The date of the last publication shall be at least five days, not including a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday in this state, prior to the meeting at which the increase in valuation is acted on by the board. When an increase is made, the same valuation shall not again be changed unless notice is again given as provided.
The clerk of the county commission shall publish notice of the time, place, and general purpose of the meeting as a Class II legal advertisement in compliance with the provisions of §59-3-1, et seq. of this code and the publication area shall be the county. The expense of publication shall be paid out of the county treasury.
(f) Any person who receives notice as provided in subsection (e) of this section may appear before the board at the time and place specified in the notice to object to the proposed increase in the valuation of taxpayer’s property. After hearing the board’s reason or reasons for the proposed increase, the taxpayer may present his or her objection or objections to the increase and the reason or reasons for the objections.
(g) The board may approve an agreement signed by the taxpayer or taxpayer’s representative and the assessor, and by a representative of the Tax Commissioner when the property is industrial property or natural resources property, that resolves a valuation matter while the land and personal property books are before the Board for Equalization and Review.
(h) If any person fails to apply for relief at this meeting, he or she shall have waived the right to ask for correction in the assessment list for the current year, and shall not thereafter be permitted to question the correctness of the list as finally fixed by the board, except on appeal to the Office of Tax Appeals, or as otherwise provided in this article.
(i) After the board completes the review and equalization of the property books, a majority of the board shall sign a statement that it is the completed assessment of the county for the tax year. Then the property books shall be delivered to the assessor and the levies extended as provided by law.
(j) A taxpayer who elects to have a hearing before the Board of Equalization and Review may appeal the board’s order to the Office of Tax Appeals.
(k) The standard of proof which a taxpayer must meet at all levels of review and appeal under this section shall be a preponderance of the evidence standard.