Long-overdue real property reevaluation completed - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Long-overdue real property reevaluation completed

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After nearly 20 years, the Department of Revenue & Taxation has finally completed the revaluation of the entire real property on Guam.

It hasn't been done since 1993 but efforts to update Guam's property values is finally complete. Rev & Tax director John Camacho said, "And recently we just mailed out roughly 40,000-45,000 billings to off-island and mainly Guam and roughly about 9,000-10,000 to most of the banks who have that under mortgage, property owners now are beginning to come in and basically pay those increases. Some increases in taxes for land and building."

The 2014 real property tax statements were sent out and provide local property owners information on their properties and the new values. And because a revaluation hasn't been done for over two decades, the values were bound to show some changes. "There's some people who will see increases in land and there are some will show decreases depending on the location and some in the south may see a little decrease in the land value but majority of it is increase in certain areas," Camacho added.

In early January, Rev & Tax put a call out for property owners to apply for home tax exemptions or senior citizens tax credits to refrain from seeing any increases. However, Camacho says as of today, 654 people have filed appeals contesting the new property values. "Most of them will probably say the values are too high and when the values go to high, their taxes increase - there's maybe also some people that feel that maybe like some of the places down in the south that the land should of been more, instead of going down, they're entitled to appeal that because it discredit their property values," he continued.

The deadline to file an appeal was on March 16, but Camacho says Rev & Tax and the board of equalization are looking to provide an extension. In the meantime, while the revaluation was once assessed at $22 million, Camacho expects the 2014 real property taxes to accumulate roughly $35 million. He says the overall revaluation is an important step in determining the true property value on Guam, noting, "But it is important because not only would it add additional revenues to the Territorial Education Facilities Fund, but basically tax the people at the fair market value rather than undervalue or overvalue."

The first installment payments are due on April 20 with the second on May 20. Rev & Tax will then publish a delinquent list by June 8. If you feel your real property assessment is incorrect, you're advised to call Rev & Tax or visit the Real Property Division.

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