Do you cringe each year when you get your bill for property taxes? Did you know that up to 60% of U.S. homes are overassessed each year? If you can do some homework, there’s a good chance that you can lower that assessment and therefore your property taxes.
- Review your property assessment. Obtain a copy of your most recent property assessment and review it for errors. Even the smallest errors, such as listing 2 1/2 baths as 3 baths, can jack up your tax bill. If you find a problem, you can fill out a form and file it with the tax assessor’s office to correct the error.
- Do a cost comparison. Do some more homework and determine the value of other homes in your neighborhood. You can find that information by logging in to zillow.com or domania.com which will provide that information for free. Try to check at least five similar properties. If their value is assessed about 10% lower than the value of your property, include that information when you file a written appeal to the assessor’s office.
- Get a tax exemption. Property tax exemptions are available in many states for veterans, people with disabilities and senior citizens. Tax exemptions, however, are not applied automatically to your tax bill, so you’ll need to contact your local assessor’s office to see what exemptions are available. Then fill out the necessary paperwork to see if you qualify.
- Renovating your property. If you file a permit to renovate your home, be sure to examine the property record to make sure that the improvements or additions are correctly valued and not overstated. At the same time, if you file a permit to renovate and then don’t follow through with the renovation, make sure that the renovation is not erroneously listed in the assessment.