Can I Get My Property Taxes Lowered?

Posted on August 27 By Francine Huff

How much are you paying for property taxes? If you live in an area where a lot of homes have lost significant value, you could be overpaying. There are some steps you can take to try and get your home re-assessed, but be prepared to put in some time doing so.

Many homeowners complain about high property taxes, but not that many actually try to do something about their tax bill. In some cases, homes are actually over-assessed, but you'll have to be able to prove that's the case with your home. Here are some of the steps you can take to do this:

  1. Make sure you understand how property in your area is assessed. It may be based on sales of similar homes, the cost to rebuild or a percentage of your home's value.
  2. Check the details of your property assessment. You can do this by going to your local tax office and looking at the property card. It will show how many rooms you have, square footage, number of acres, etc. You should be able to view the paperwork used when your home was being evaluated by the appraiser.
  3. File your appeal quickly. Usually you have a couple months after receiving your annual tax assessment to dispute it. Get valuations for nearby homes that are similar to your own. You'll want to be able to take this information to your tax assessor. If there are a lot of homes that have sold for prices significantly below your home's value, you may have a chance of getting your taxes lowered.
  4. Take your written appeal to your local tax office. It may take a while, but you'll be scheduled for a hearing to present your case. Make sure you have all your documents together before going to this hearing.
The best way to make your case is to be prepared to answer any questions about why your property should be reassessed. Doing thorough research on other properties in your neighborhood, taking photos of your property and correcting errors on the property card could help you get a lower tax bill.

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