Your property taxes are due, and there’s another increase. What can you do? Well… quite a lot. Often, property tax has been incorrectly assessed, and when this happens, you’ve got a great chance of getting it reduced by following these easy steps.
Your property tax card can tell you a lot about your property – and more importantly, it can tell you a lot about what your assessor’s think of your property. Sometimes this information is wrong, and when it is, the local assessor’s office is required to make a change (which could reduce your tax). Check details such as dimensions, improvements you have made and your lot size. If there’s a mistake, let them know.
Use other properties in your neighborhood as a yardstick to determine if your valuation is correct. If they have been valued lower, yet there are no noticeable differences between your property and theirs, it might be a sign that a mistake has been made.
There’s no one formula for calculating property tax; different areas have different rules. Sometimes you’ll be assessed on 100 percent of market value, sometimes on a lower figure. Understanding how your property is assessed can be the key to getting a reduction. For example, if the assessor uses local property prices to help assess your tax, you can challenge this by finding your own examples of similar property prices and arguing for a reduction. This is easily done using online property websites to check local prices.
The assessor compares your properties to others in the area to help them make their determination. So, if you’ve got a shiny new kitchen but everyone else has something out of date, your property is going to be valued higher. Ideally, you should put off making cosmetic improvements, such as installing a new kitchen or doing landscaping in your garden until just after the assessor has visited. This tactic delays the value increase until the value is next assessed and saves you some tax this year.
It might be tempting to refuse to let the assessor on your property – you have that right – but it is rarely helpful. If this happens, the assessor may charge you the maximum tax possible for a property of your size. Instead, you should work with the assessor, taking them around your property yourself. Make sure you point out to them any features that might reduce the value of your property – damp, cracks, old utilities – they may not spot these if left to survey the property themselves.
In many states, primary homeowners, senior citizens, veterans and other individuals are given lower tax rates, reduced ratios or even exemptions. Check regulations in your area to see what you are entitled to and make sure you are receiving it.
You normally have between 30 and 90 days to appeal (the exact time depends on your jurisdiction). If you spot a discrepancy or want to try and reduce your tax you should act immediately; it’s easy to lose your chance if you don’t act fast.
For more help, including further advice on property taxes, contact a property tax consultant today.
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from industrial and office property to single and multi-family residential.
At a critical time when a property was in lease-up, we were faced with an unreasonable and unjustified assessment.
Brandon’s tenacity and responsiveness resulted in a fair assessment and the largest value change I've seen in my career.
Outstanding!! These guys are pros - they are great at what they do and great to work with.