Property taxes are often considered a necessary evil. Most of us do not enjoy paying them, however, we are aware that without these taxes our local government, safety services and schools could not function properly or even at all.
Property taxes are based on the value of your home multiplied by the current tax rate. When you make improvements or additions to your home, your local government can reassess the value of your home and raise your property tax liability accordingly. Likewise, with many property values dropping across the country, property owners have the right to request a property value review called a reassessment. This reassessment can be done by a private firm or by your local government. Often, requesting this service from your local government will cost less or even have no cost.
Due to the recession and weak real estate market many of us received automatic reassessments from our local municipality. Some may have thought this would result in lowered property taxes for the year. Not the case for the majority of us. In order for the town or county to operate they need the revenues from our homes. Therefore, most adjusted the rate up to compensate for the lowered property value. I encourage you all to research this to understand what your financial obligation is.
Before you get started take a look at your current tax appraisal. Check measurements, square footage and any description of number of rooms or whether or not a basement is finished, etc. Make a list of any errors. You should also take a look at your neighbors’ property values. These can often be found online at your county auditor’s website. You can also get a quick idea of these values by visiting sites such as Zillow or Trulia and searching homes in your area. If their values are much lower than yours, that is a good place to begin with appealing your own property tax liability.
When considering requesting a property value reassessment, it is a good idea to consult a real estate attorney who can help you decide if this is a wise choice. A real estate attorney may have already worked on a similar case and have the knowledge and experience to let you know if the end result could be worth the effort.
A real estate attorney can also help you make sure that there are no miscalculations in your current property tax rate and should also be familiar with the property tax appeal process in your area. Working with an attorney who specializes in real estate, such as Felix Nihamin and Associates, can save you from making costly mistakes when considering appealing for lower property taxes.