How To Lower Property Taxes
Just by challenging a new valuation, 4 out of 10 property owners get a lower assessment. This means lower property taxes. Here are some other ways that you can lessen your responsibility.
1. Are there any taxation shields?
Some jurisdictions allow property owners to shield a portion of the value of a property from taxation. This can come from credits that exist because of your age, your military status, or a disability that you may have. Although there are fewer breaks for rental property owners, there are still many that exist and are never used.
2. Make sure the information on your property is accurate.
Errors can often be found on a valuation assessment. This happens because there are errors on the record card for the property. This could be added bedrooms, added bathrooms, or even incorrect acreage. Provide documentation that shows the actual structure of your home is different and most assessors will change the valuation without a formal appeal.
3. Does your property stand out like a sore thumb?
Most homes within a neighborhood are valued around the same price, especially when they are in a similar condition. If your property has the highest valuation in the neighborhood, then you've got good grounds for an appeal. Pull the property records of the neighborhood homes that are of similar size and see if everything lines up.
4. Are there issues with your home that were not considered?
Even if your home's valuation lines up with the rest of the neighborhood, it still might not be a fair value. The condition of your home's siding, a leaking basement wall, or even grading that prevents any other land improvements can all lower your property tax responsibilities when appropriately addressed.
5. Keep the politics out of the situation.
Whenever you do need to make an appeal, it's very easy to take an unfair valuation personally. Going before the appeals board means sticking to the facts. Don't fall into the trap of discussing the fairness of tax rates or the politics of local officials. Stick to your facts and let them do the persuading for you.
6. Bring in the heavy guns if necessary.
Sometimes you have the grounds for legal action. That can take a lot of work and an initial investment into legal support, but a good case can mean better returns. Some communities also allow for independent appraisals as well – if yours does, then look for appraisers that hold a national accreditation.
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