Most everyone would like to lower their property tax assessment.
Lower Your Property Tax Assessment
These days, it’s not unusual for property taxes to go up. In fact, sometimes they go up sharply. In many areas, real estate prices are rising. At the same time that local governments seek more money for schools, law enforcement, fire protection and other needs.
While you can expect some increase in your property tax assessment, you should look closely to see if your tax bill has increased fairly.
When determining the value of a property, assessors generally look at:
- The home’s size.
- Your lot size.
- The condition of the home.
- Renovations and improvements that have been made.
- Recent sale prices of similar homes in the neighborhood.
If you disagree with the value placed on your property, here are a few items to check:
Sometimes errors are made in the physical description of your property. The property may be listed as being 2,900 square feet when actually, it’s 1,900. Possibly the records may say your home has four bathrooms when it only has three. And sometimes numbers get transposed when recording data.
Your tax bill may include assessments for improvements that were never made or are not completed. And if you’re adding a room to your house but it’s not yet habitable, your property bill should take that into account.
Does your assessment compare to recent sales prices of similar homes in the neighborhood? Please contact me for a list of recent sales to find out.
Sometimes, properties have features that lower their value. It may have a cracked foundation or be near to a noisy interstate highway.
And if you do find an error, don’t assume that it’s new. The previous owner may have been overpaying. And, just because your rates are unchanged from previous years, that doesn’t mean they’re right.
How Can You Appeal
Different towns have different systems for tax assessments and appeals. If you think your claim is legitimate, act quickly. Many municipalities have time limits on assessments.
- The most common remedy is to negotiate with your local tax authority. You must be able to document your claims. Bring photographs, and a list of comparable sales that show discrepancies.
- Some towns hear property tax appeals based on a comparative analysis.If your appeal is successful, you can lower your current and future tax bill. In addition, you may also be able to appeal past property tax bills and get refunds.
As a last resort, if you have substantial proof of an incorrect property valuation but are unable to get your tax bill reduced, you may want to take your case to court.
Pay While You Appeal
You might have a good case to successfully lower your tax bill. But unless the taxing authority tells you in writing, be sure to pay your assessed taxes on time.