Think Your Tax Bill Is Too High? File An Appeal
When you receive your tax bill in the mail, you might be shocked at how high your taxes are for the year. However, before you start to panic, it may be a good idea to file an appeal to determine whether the tax assessor has incorrectly valued your home or whether there are other ways you can lower the amount owed. If your appeal to the tax assessor is successful, you may very well be able to reach a property tax settlement and have a lower tax bill. Use these tips to help your appeal to be successful.
Look for Mistakes on the Property Record
One of the first things you'll have to do when you decide to file a tax appeal is to investigate the property card that the local tax assessor has on file. The assessment on your home is based on the town's tax rate and the value of your home; if the tax assessor has overvalued your home because of incorrect information on the property card, you can correct the mistake and your taxes might be lower.
Some mistakes that the property card may contain are:
- Incorrect number of liveable square feet in the house
- Incorrect acreage
- Wrong number of bedrooms or bathrooms
- Incorrect information about whether a basement is finished or not
- Assumptions about the quality of the interior of the house
Have an Independent Home Appraisal Done
To increase your chances of a successful appeal, you may want to hire a professional residential appraiser to do an independent appraisal of your house. An appraiser will personally inspect your home and use comparable sales of other houses in the area in order to come up with a professional opinion of value. You can then submit their appraisal report to your local tax assessor to prove that their assessment was too high.
Find Out About Tax Exemptions
If you belong to certain groups, you might be eligible for tax exemptions, sometimes called homestead rebates or homestead exemptions. If you are eligible for such an exemption, your tax bill should be lower. You can check with the tax assessor to get an idea of which exemptions may help you and how much lower your bill will be.
Follow the tips above to appeal your tax bill. To be sure you're able to get a property tax settlement you're comfortable with, talk with a tax services professional such as Tax Assessment Xperts Inc to get more suggestions.