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How To Win A Property Tax Appeal Right Now
Winning a property tax assessment appeal is neither hard nor intimidating. Most disputes are resolved not in a courtroom, but in informal hearings with the assessor.
FIND ERRORS MADE
You are more likely to win your property tax appeal if you can find an error made in your assessment. Make an appointment with the assessor and bring proof…photos etc. that support your claims.
Errors in real estate appraisals happen all the time. A tax appeal specialist says he finds errors in 60% of the cases he investigates. Errors such as the age of the house, having asbestos siding or improper measurement.
Learn how your home was inspected
Some systems that accountants use are inherently flawed. The trend is one. It is based on the current median selling prices and the current average price. Many houses will be overvalued and undervalued. Get information on houses that have sold for less than your appraised value will always help your case and give you good reasons for a reduction.
In most counties, all houses are supposed to be inspected on the same day, in the same way, by well-trained assessors. Many times that is not how it usually happens in the real world. Often employees don’t bother to inspect anything except new construction or additions. Even when properties are inspected, the examination may be nothing more than a drive-by. There are not enough trained assessors to go around, and they are often prevented from going inside by dogs in your yard or your neighbor.
Check the value of your home and your neighborhood
Check to make sure the value of your home is in line with the assessed value of other homes in your neighborhood. You can have a real estate agent find three comparable houses. Most good agents don’t mind helping you because you can use the wrong way. Many times you can also call the information for yourself at the assessment office. Remember that you want to be able to show that your home is in worse condition than the comparables. Cracked foundation or flood damage. Try to compare your home with the best in your neighborhood.
The easy way for most owners is to use the market approach in their appeal. But it doesn’t hurt to ask the assessor to take you through the steps that local officials used to calculate the value. You may find that mistakes have been made in the calculations or in the assumptions behind them.
START TAKING ACTIONS
1. Get a copy of your most recent home appraisal. If you can’t find it, call the city assessors office. Or take a visit to the office to view the official records.
2. Take pictures of your home and the homes you want to compare your home to. Use a high quality camera. If you don’t have one, borrow one from a relative or friend or hire a professional photographer.
3. See the assessor’s records and look for mistakes in your favor. This is important because there is a chance that mistakes will favor the government. And that will conclude your questions.
4. Put in writing the reduction you believe you are entitled to and show proof with the reasons for the reduction. This includes photos, recent sales and neighborhood ratings.
5. Look for tax breaks for the disabled, seniors or veterans and low-income homeowners. There are many new government plans out there. Do some research to see if your home falls into one of these categories.
6. Look for reductions for energy efficient homes or if your home is old enough, you might qualify for a historic home tax rebate.
7. Find all the terms and forms and use them. Call the counselors office or find information on their website.
8. Get help from real estate agents or property tax abatement experts. You may have to call a few agents, but it will be worth the phone calls.
9. Remember that no one cares about you and your money as much as you do. So stay focused on your goal and persist without ceasing.
THE EFFORT WILL COME
Remember that most disputes are resolved in informal hearings. So don’t be afraid to seek a property tax appeal. For a little work and a small investment in time. You can save hundreds even thousands of dollars every year.
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