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Best Way to Appeal Property Tax Bill

As the days roll on with a turn of a new calendar page often question what the new year has in store for us. Sitting tight in your mailbox is your annual tax report. You grab it with a little bit of apprehension, and after a run-through, you find that the levied tax is getting on your nerves. You are not alone in experiencing these tax blues. Many property owners, including yourself, are at a standstill with what can be done next.

Keep calm and analyze the tax report to find any potential property tax appeal. You may even get in touch with a tax professional for additional necessary details. However, keep in mind that you’ll be responsible for around $500 for a professionals time. 

Get to the Core

Give it a thought about how tax officials make up property tax reports. Basically, those officials assess any property with its market value in view. There are many possibilities where they miss essential data and tweak it unknowingly. For instance, the assessor would have keyed in four bedrooms instead of three bedrooms while drawing up the final draft of the report. This would have given a fake boost to the net tax amount, leaving you feeling overwhelmed paying extra bucks for the past year.

Also, in the long run, your property may be running down. For example, the roof needs to be refinished or the landscaping is in desperate need of a revamp. This brings down the value of your property, and you may opt for a tax assessment appeal.

Do Your Research

Before making the first move, find out whether your tax assessment appeal really stands a chance. For that, just hit your computer keys, and search online for your local tax assessor website. Input your property identification number (PIN) to shortlist your property details from the database. Assess your property details presented on screen and compare it with those in the sent hard copy of tax details. If you find out something odd while making the verification, never hesitate to make a note and bring it up later.

There are a lot of cases in property tax history were homeowners sense a good deal of unfair taxes imposed on their property. One such homeowner in Marion County of Indianapolis found his home over-billed because of a false input for the total area in records. Mistakes do happen and you hold the sole responsibility to safeguard yourself.

Run for an Appeal Letter

You may get a property tax appeal letter from your tax assessor’s office. Fill out the form and report the issue politely highlighting the blotch in the sent tax report. To add a zest to the overall process, snap photos of your home where the issue applies and enclose them with your appeal letter. As an appellate, you have every right to pin point any discrepancies and stand your ground to make those officials see for themselves. Don’t forget that the tax appeal letter should be sent to the respective officials on time within 45 days from the date of property tax report issuance.

Ask a Neighbor

Pass on the property tax appeal matter to your neighbor and you may find them reliable and get their support. Ask them questions regarding their of late tax reports and their total tax outstanding. Do they feel comfortable with the gross property tax? Is their property having the same outlook and built-up as that of your own? If so, carry out online research for a possible tax levied on such properties across your locality. To your surprise, you may end up hitting homes that are just like the one you own and still, the net tax amount falls below the tax you pay annually. This may be an eye-opener for property tax reduction.

Bringing in an Appraiser

Bringing in a property appraiser to reassess your property may be a long-time idea. But, you have to dole out a sum of money to pay the appraiser, and by the time you pay, tax assessors may have given a green light to your property tax appeal. As a result, you have to bear the loss of paying the appraiser, with the deduced amount marching around the corner to your property, which may be on or below par.

Blog Author

Patrick O’Connor, MAI, Owner and President
Patrick O’Connor has been active in reducing property taxes, providing expert witness testimony and appraising commercial real estate property since 1983. Pat is active in publishing analyses and data with respect to the real estate market, while being a highly regarded media spokesperson for the real estate community. He holds a MAI, the highest achievable designation from the Appraisal Institute, and is a licensed senior property tax consultant. Pat earned a Master of Business Administration from Harvard University. In 2001, he authored the first definitive consumer guide to Texas property taxes, Cut Your Texas Property Taxes.

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