Nobody enjoys paying more in taxes than necessary, and it’s not uncommon for municipalities to overvalue properties. According to the National Taxpayers Union, as much as 60% of U.S. property may have an inflated valuation. If you believe your property tax bill was calculated incorrectly due to an overvaluation of your home or business, here’s how to appeal it:
Confirm That It’s True:
- Start by confirming the accuracy of your Property Tax Assessment Appeal.
- Obtain a copy of your property card from the county assessor’s office, containing essential information such as square footage, lot size, bedroom and bathroom count, parking spaces, and more.
- Review the property card for potential typos, as inaccuracies may arise from the assessor’s office mistakenly attributing non-existent improvements to your property, such as an additional bedroom.
- Be attentive to any essential details that might be absent from the card, as they could contribute to an inflated assessment.
Consider the Alternatives:
- Compare the assessed value of your property to similar homes in the area.
- Identify five to seven comparable homes with similar square footage, update level, and general location.
- If your property’s price is at least 10% greater than the comparables, you have a strong case for appeal.
Collect Your Proof and Visit the Local Assessor’s Office:
- Contact a representative from your county assessor’s office before submitting a formal appeal.
- Bring supporting evidence, including your tax bill, comparables, a copy of your property card, and photos.
- Be aware that an informal meeting may be refused, and the evaluator might choose to ignore your request.
Filing a Formal Appeal of Property Taxes:
- In most cases, file a formal request with accompanying documents explaining why the initial property assessment was incorrect.
- The time it takes to hear back depends on the workload of your local assessor’s office.
- Act promptly upon receiving your property tax increase notice to avoid missing the appeal window.
- Objecting to a property tax increase involves careful scrutiny of your Property assessment, consideration of comparable homes, and gathering evidence to support your case. By following these steps, you can increase the likelihood of a successful appeal and potentially reduce your property tax burden. Remember, timing is crucial, so act promptly when you receive your tax increase notice.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How do I know if my property tax bill was calculated incorrectly?
Start by confirming the accuracy of your property assessment. Obtain a copy of your property card from the county assessor’s office and review essential details such as square footage, lot size, and room count.
What should I look for when reviewing my property card?
Check for potential typos or inaccuracies, such as the inclusion of non-existent improvements. Ensure that essential details, like your property’s location on a major thoroughfare, are accurately represented.
Why should I consider alternatives when appealing my property tax bill?
Comparing the assessed value of your property to similar homes in the area helps establish whether your property has been overvalued. If your home’s price is significantly higher than comparable properties, you may have a strong case for appeal.
What evidence should I gather before visiting the local assessor’s office?
Collect supporting documents, including your tax bill, information on comparable homes, a copy of your property card, and any relevant photos. This evidence strengthens your case when discussing the assessment with the assessor.
Can I have an informal meeting with the assessor before filing a formal appeal?
Yes, it’s advisable to contact a representative from your county assessor’s office before filing a formal appeal. Bring your gathered proof to this meeting. However, be aware that the assessor may refuse an informal meeting.
What if the local assessor’s office rejects my informal appeal?
If your informal appeal is rejected, you may need to file a formal request. The process may vary by location, so consult your local assessor’s office for guidance on filing a formal appeal.
How long does it take to hear back after filing a formal appeal?
The time it takes to receive a response depends on the workload of your local assessor’s office. Be prepared for some variability in the response time.
Is there a deadline for filing a property tax appeal?
Yes, it’s crucial to act promptly upon receiving your Property Tax increase notice. Most cities have a specific window during which they consider appeals, and missing this deadline could limit your options.