There are many reasons why there may be a difference between an independent appraisal and an assessor's assessment on the same property. Two of those reasons are illustrated here. If the appraisal was done by a lender for obtaining a mortgage, it is possible that the lender gave specific instructions to the independent appraiser that relate the appraisal more to the amount of money being borrowed than to the current market value, thus creating a difference. There could also be a timing difference between when the independent appraisal and assessment were each completed. An independent appraisal is typically useful for lending purposes for six months before it becomes out of date. There could be a significant difference between an "out-of-date" independent appraisal and a more recent county assessment.
A Homeowner's Guide to Property Taxes is an informational brochure available on our web site that explains how a property assessment is done.