Expert Witness: expert witness in the law of evidence, a witness who is allowed to give opinion evidence as opposed to evidence of his perception. This is the case only if the witness is indeed skilled in some appropriate discipline. An exception to the usual rule of practice whereby witnesses are heard one after the other and do not hear the evidence of the preceding witness is made in relation to competing experts. The term skilled witness is favored in Scotland.
Presenting verified evidence in an organized manner, a sound opinion of value can be reached using appropriate reference material by anyone. There is no magic involved. 5th grade math and corroborative evidence results in an honest conclusion. Professional titles, Phd, doctorate, attorney classifications, appraiser designations, etc. should have no bearing on a case. The only certainty that counts is clear evidence, logic and a value conclusion.
Problem with the town property tax assessor is that they're trained to use the cost approach to valuation. They mainly deal with valuing new homes sold, a garage built ... new stuff. There a 3 approaches to valuation:
The income approach is applied to commercial enterprises who are valued considering their actual income generate. The market value approach is based on reality, on what someone will spend on a given property not matter what it cost to build. What's weird is a property tax assessor for a town is trained mainly in a cost approach and they might have a bias because of that background.
35-5-2519 VBV Realty, LLC v. Scotch Plains Twp., Tax Ct.(Novin, J.T.C.) (22 pp.) The court concluded that when an expert witness has failed to verify the integrity and accuracy of the market data that forms the basis of the expert's opinions, the opinions and conclusions are entitled to little weight. Our Legislature has mandated that any person offered as a witness in a local property tax appeal proceeding before the Tax Court shall be competent to testify about comparable sales from information or knowledge obtained from the owner, seller, purchaser, lessee or occupant, or the broker or brokers, or attorney or attorneys who negotiated or who are familiar with such transactions. Although public web sites and real estate marketing and listing service web sites can be a valuable tool in the appraisal community for identifying prospective comparable properties, it is the process by which an appraiser verifies the accuracy of that data and information that is one of the hallmarks of a sound opinion of value. Thus, data and information which has not been verified, confirmed, or corroborated with individuals possessing first-hand knowledge of or familiarity with a market transaction is of little value to the court. In addition, adjustments made to comparable sale or lease transactions must have a foundation derived from the marketplace or analysis of objective data, and not based solely upon subjective observations and personal experience. [Filed Feb. 10, 2017] (Approved for Publication) per https://www.facebook.com/NJPropTax/
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