How To Lower Your Property Taxes

Written by Posted On Monday, 07 April 2014 14:22

First of all, everyone wants to pay less in property taxes than they do now and most clients will ask how to do this once or twice while owning the home that you sold them.  This is becoming a bit of an artform and certain things and requests may work and many will not.  Most counties are less and less enthusiastic to receive these written request to lower a property's assessed vlaue especially since our local real estate markets have seemed to be on the rise in the last few are you going to argue that your assessed value (and the amount you pay for your property taxes) should go down?

Your position on this adventure needs to start from the first day you officially became the owner of your home.  Read that again if it didn't sink in the first time.  You are contacting the local county assessor's office asking for your assessed value to be reviewed and lowered.  That value was based on the sales price when you purchased the home and that's where your discussion, documentation and  starting point needs to be.  If your game plan is to tell someone else that you paid too much for your house, your home needed a new roof or that the neighbors are mean then you're just wasting your breath and time.

Most of the country has experienced a recent growth in real estate sales and values since our crash of several years ago.  This doesn't mean that it's happening in your area.  Check recent sales in the area, view the comparable sales of similar homes that have occurred in the last six months, what is the dollar per square foot that homes around yours are selling for?  Documentation is always needed.  Get some proof to support this assertion that property values have gone down.  Public schools, are they an asset or liability?  Can you get local public school scores and see if they're going up or down?  Crime, is it on the rise or has it decreased?  Contact your local police or sherriff's department to check.  Are there changes in your neighborhood?  Did a liquor store just open up across the street from your home?  Did the office building on the corner just become demolished, is the house next to you now vacant and an REO listing, etc?

Have a realistic value that you now believe your property is worth and should be assessed at.  If you bought your home last year for $500,000 don't tell the county assessor's office it's now worth $400,000.  It's not, you know it and you're just telling them you're hurting for money and not voicing a legitamite concern.  If you have a well reasoned and documented position on what you truley beleive the new/current assessed vlaue of your property should be you'll probably get a possitive response.  They may "split the baby" with you but in the end you should get some relief.


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