This BLOG On Property Tax Appeal For Homeowners With High Property Taxes Was PUBLISHED On January 15th, 2019
Property Taxes are one of the highest expenses homeowners have.
- Not all properties that are like and similar have the same property taxes
- Property taxes vary from state to state, county to county, city to city
- Homeowners with high property taxes can do property tax appeal to potentially lower them
- There is no reason why homeowners should pay higher taxes on their property if their neighbors are paying lower amounts
On this blog. we will discuss how tax appeal works on property taxes and steps in lowering them.
Property Tax Appeal Process
Homeowners with higher taxes on their homes can do property tax appeal to the county assessors office.
- Assessed Value Of Home is the factor used to calculate taxes for homeowners and how much they owe
- The way property tax appeal works are to prove to county assessor that the property is worth less than its assessed value
- Homeowners do not need an attorney to do property tax appeal
- They can start by going on the internet and doing basic research about the value of their home
- Or consult a local realtor who is familiar with the area
Once homeowners have facts their property value is higher than the norm, it normally takes several months for the tax appeal process.
Review Home Assessment Letter By County Assessor’s Office And Property Tax Appeal Process
The County Assessor’s Office will randomly and periodically assess all properties in their county.
- They tax properties based on their assessed value
- After an officer of the County Assessor’s Office determines the assessed value, they send statements of their findings to taxpayers
- The assessment will state and list basic factual information about the subject property
- This includes the legal description, size of the lot, and the value of the property
How Assessors Determine How Much Tax Homeowners Should Pay
Assessors will determine property taxes by multiplying property assessed value by the county’s local tax rate.
- This tax rate will vary from one city to another and one county to another
- Homeowners who find their assessment is higher than normal comparable properties need to start the property tax appeal process as soon as possible
- There is a time frame homeowners are allowed to file a property tax appeal
The assessment statement should have specific instructions on how to do a tax appeal.
How Much Are Your Taxes Higher Than Comparable Homes And Reason For Property Tax Appeal
The first thing homeowners need to determine is if their taxes are substantially higher than comparable homes in their neighborhoods.
- Most homeowners tax rate is between 1% to 2% of their home’s values
- However, there are homes that are valued at $100,000 and the tax is $10,000
- Cases like these, homeowners should benefit from tax appeal
- Property taxes can vary greatly from one town to another town
- An average $250,000 home can have taxes of $2,000 a year in one city but $5,000 in another town
- Do not always assume that the county assessor is right
Many times home with $1,000 in taxes can have another comparable home next door with $4,000 in taxes.
Review Assessment Statement For Errors
When homeowners get their property assessment statements, make sure it is correct with no errors.
- Specific attention should be given to the number of bedrooms and bathrooms
- Is the size of the lot correct?
- Errors do occur and most homeowners do not pay attention
- Finished basements and attics do not count as living spaces
However, an assessor can count bedrooms and bathrooms in the basement and attics as livable spaces thus increasing assessed values.
Researching Comparable Sales And Properties
Sales of properties in the neighborhood are public records.
- Homeowners should be able to check for comparable sales in the area
- Or better yet, ask a real estate agent in the area for 3 to 5 comparable sales
- Websites like realtor.com list comparable sales in your area
- Worst case scenario, homeowners can hire their own home appraisers and get an accurate appraisal
- Comparable sales are listed on home appraisals
- Things to look for in comparable sales is to check assessments on the property
- Most county agencies have public tax information listed
If other properties that are similar and like your have lower assessments, you then have a strong case to do a property tax appeal and win.
Contact County Property Assessors Office
Every county has its own property tax appeal process.
- Many rural counties will take taxpayers phone calls and discuss their case scenario over the phone
- Some require a formal filing of a petition
- Others allow it to be done online
- Contact the assessor’s office and learn what their property tax appeal process is like
- Tax Appeal cases can take time. Time varies upon the municipality
Board Review Results And Options For Taxpayers
There are instances where taxpayers get denied their property tax appeal. Decisions of tax appeals can be appealed by homeowners. It is normally appealed to an independent agency. There are fees involved which are normally very nominal. Again, this can take months or more than a year.
The board of appeals can only lower property assessment and not the tax rate. On the flip side, an appeal on the county assessors decision can backfire on homeowners and the board can increase the asses value. If this is the case, property taxes will increase and not decrease. Homeowners can also explore homeowners’ savings to see if they qualify for property tax exemptions. Many counties and/or towns offer property tax exemptions to homeowners based on military service disability, age, and other factors.