What is a small claims tax appeal?
A taxpayer may choose to use simplified, small claims procedures if the dispute concerns the
valuation or classification of property in which the property is Class Three property (your home)
OR in which the full cash value of all real and personal property, as assessed, does not exceed
$2,000,000. You may also use the small claims procedure for disputes concerning all other taxes where
the amount of the taxes, interest at the time of assessment and penalties in dispute is less than
You may choose to use the small claims procedures by indicating in the caption of the complaint
that the matter is a small claims procedure in the Tax Court. The filing fee is $142 for a small
claims Tax Court appeal.
It is $286 for any other Tax Court appeal.
Who decides my case?
Arizona property tax assessment appeals are decided by either a judge or commissioner/judge pro tem of
the Arizona Tax Court. There are no juries in the small claims division of the Tax Court.
Where is the Arizona Tax Court?
125 W. Washington Street
Phoenix, Arizona 85003-2243
Do I need a lawyer?
You do not need a lawyer, although you may wish to hire one. Only you can decide whether you need
an attorney to help with your case.
In Small Claims Tax Court, you may be represented by an attorney or by a non attorney who has been approved by the Presiding
Tax Judge. For further information on how to become a non attorney representative, call the Tax Court at 602-506-3776.
Who will represent the county in my case?
Your case is against the county, which is called the defendant. An attorney for the county
will represent the county.
If I act as my own attorney, what are my responsibilities?
Like a lawyer, you must gather evidence and research the legal or factual issues involved in your
case. You may call witnesses and question them. You will have the right to question or cross-examine
any witnesses brought by the county attorney or assessor. You also are the Arizona Tax Court's main
contact on your case. If your case is settled or needs to be delayed or any other significant
developments occur, you must contact the Tax Court.
You are the plaintiff (the person bringing the case) and the burden of proof rests with you. In
every type of legal dispute one party has what is called the burden of proof, or the greater
responsibility to prove that party's case. Arizona law presumes that the county assessor has correctly
assessed or classified your property. You must prove otherwise in order to win your appeal.
You may also be a witness, giving testimony on your behalf and responding to questions from the
county attorney or assessor. You may be your best witness in describing your property, how you use the
property, and its current condition. You, as owner, may give the court your own opinion of the
property's value or use. Even if you are not an appraiser, you know your property and can provide the
Tax Court with valuable information about it.
How will I know when my case is going to be heard?
After you file the property tax appeal, you will receive notice of a hearing date for your case.
The notice will be sent to the address shown on the petition. If you move, it is your responsibility
to inform the Tax Court of your new address.
Tax Court small claims cases are set for trial within 6 months of filing the complaint to the Tax
Court of the taxpayer's choice that the case proceed as a small claim. You will be given enough notice
of the trial date to permit you to prepare for trial. The notice from the court will include the time
and location of your hearing. If you do not appear for the trial, your case will be dismissed with
prejudice, meaning you cannot file another appeal for the tax year in question.
Where will my case be heard?
Your case will be heard in the Downtown Court Complex.
You will be notified by mail the proper address and courtroom once your hearing has been set.
What happens if I cannot appear in court on the scheduled trial date?
If you cannot appear on the scheduled date, ask the county attorney or assessor to see if they
will agree to a continuance. If both sides agree to a continuance and there is a good reason, the
judge may grant it. If you do not attend your hearing and the judge has not allowed a continuance of
the trial, you may lose your case.
May I negotiate a settlement after the trial date has been set?
Yes! In the time between the setting of the trial date and the trial, you may still negotiate
with the county attorney or assessor to reach a settlement. Settling will save you and the county
time and money. If you do settle, you must contact the Arizona Tax Court immediately.