Have You Considered Appealing Your Property Taxes?
Around 2008, the real estate market saw a decline in home values in our area. Property values in some areas have recovered and others have not. Unfortunately, some local Tax Assessor’s Offices may not have assessed values at a consistent level with the ever-changing real estate market.
Many properties are assessed every four years. Thus, it is quite possible that you have the potential to save money if you believe your property taxes are not in-line with today’s market.
It is possible to trim your property tax bill by appealing your property taxes with the Assessor’s office. You can find the assessors websites here. The assessed home value is what’s used to calculate how much tax you owe.
One way to lower your property taxes is to show that your home is worth less than the assessed value. For that, you need to hire a certified professional real estate appraiser. One that’s skilled at assessing real property for tax grievance purposes. The appraiser will provide you an appraisal report that you would than to submit to the local tax assessor.
Property tax is a tax that based on a property’s value. It is sometimes called an ad valorem tax, which means according to value. Your property tax is a
local tax imposed by the local government taxing districts. (e.g., school districts, municipalities, counties). Administered by local officials. (e.g., township assessors, chief county assessment officers, local boards of review, county collectors).
Property taxes are collected and spent at the local level.
Property Tax - How Is It Determined?
The property tax amount is determined by two things:
- A property’s equalized assessed value (the share of the total tax base) and
- The applicable tax rates, which depend on the level of spending of local taxing districts.
To determine if property is assessed fairly, the property owner must know:
- The property’s fair market value
- The assessed value
- The average percentage of market value. This is based in how similar neighboring properties are assessed – the assessment level.
A copy of the property record for all real estate parcels is on file at your county or township office or on their website. The property record shows the property’s assessed value and how that assessed value was calculated.
A property owner may object to all or any part of a property tax record. The tax record may have incorrect information for your property. In some instances, the tax assessor’s information may show an inaccurate living area.
An appraiser will provide a sketch with the accurate above grade gross living area. The tax assessor may have the wrong bedroom/bathroom count or incorrect lot size. Comparing the tax assessor’s information and the appraiser’s findings may provide justification for a property tax appeal.
The law surrounding tax appeal is complicated and the facts of each case are unique. This article provides a brief, general introduction to the topic. This is not legal advice. Please contact a real estate attorney to provide legal advice. As with any legal matter, we highly recommend consulting with an attorney.