Ask and Ye Shall Receive?
How does the relative lack of comparable sales in a neighborhood influence the frequency of property assessment appeal applications and their likelihood of success? Using a data set of appeals applications submitted and decided in Chicago during reassessment years 2000, 2003, and 2006, we estimate the probability of successful appeals for small residential properties as a function of market activity and relevant independent variables. Even though the appeals process is intended to improve valuation practices and enhance the perceived fairness of the system, it can exacerbate a lack of assessment uniformity if appeals activity and success are correlated with other neighborhood and site-specific attributes. We find that information-rich environments not only temper the perception of individual mistreatment, but they also improve the quality of assessor decision-making. As such thick markets account for both fewer appeals applications and few instances of success than thinner ones.