The local municipality where you own real estate collects property taxes based on the value of your property. If you receive your property tax bill and get an unpleasant surprise because it seems too high, you have options for correcting the situation. Take the necessary steps to have property taxes re-evaluated by following the procedures given by your local government. If you get a break, you might get your tax bill reduced.
Examine your property tax bill carefully. Read the property description to ensure that it accurately describes your property. Note any errors you find and document the corrections so you can submit them with your appeal. Note the stated time period for appeals to ensure that you complete the process of appeal within this period.
Visit your local tax assessor's office or website to examine the property tax amounts of other homeowners in your neighborhood. Look until you find neighbors with houses comparable to your house in value and features who have lower property tax bills. Try to gather a minimum of three comparable properties to support your claim that your taxes are too high.
Consider hiring an appraiser to conduct a formal appraisal of your home. Once you receive the formal appraisal, you can submit it with your appeal as supporting documentation that the value of your property is too high. Gather any other documents that support your appeal. Examples of these documents include a sales contract or a recent closing statement that indicates a lower value.
Get the form required by your local municipality for appealing your property taxes. You may be able to download the form on your city or county website or you may need to visit the assessor’s office to get the form. Fill out the form completely and submit it with copies of your supporting documentation according to the guidelines set forth by your local government.
Attend a hearing where you will have the opportunity to present your case before the assessor. The assessor will inform you of the hearing date and time. While the assessor may not require your attendance, your appeal may be more successful if you attend. You will receive notification of the assessor’s decision on your appeal.
- If your appeal is denied at the local level., you may be able to appeal to a state tax equalization board.
- If there have been recent sales of property in your neighborhood, you can use them as evidence for your appeal.
Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator, as well as an accomplished gardener, quilter, crocheter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator. As a regular contributor to Natural News, many of Hatter's Internet publications focus on natural health and parenting. Hatter has also had publication on home improvement websites such as Redbeacon.