Real EstateHere’s how to fight a higher-than-expected property tax bill

Here’s how to fight a higher-than-expected property tax bill


Momo Productions | Digitalvision | Getty Images

If the value of your home ballooned during the Covid pandemic, you may receive an inflated property tax assessment in the mail.

There are ways, however, to combat a higher bill, experts say.

Despite double-digit growth in single-family home prices, property taxes only increased by 1.8% in 2021, with an average payment of $3,785 annually, according to a report from Attom, a real estate data analysis firm.

The discrepancy may reflect the lag in property tax assessments, with the schedule for new estimates varying by location, said Rick Sharga, executive vice president of market intelligence at Attom.

More from Personal Finance:
Your next quarterly 401(k) statement may be alarming
How higher Social Security cost-of-living adjustment could impact program’s funds
How much does college really cost? It may be much less than you think

Wayne Cohen, law professor at George Washington University School of Law, explained that homeowners may be seeing assessments from six to 12 months prior, which may be higher than their home’s current market value.

However, you can try to appeal the assessment, which may lower your home’s estimated value for future taxes, possibly saving hundreds or thousands of dollars annually.

The odds of an individual property owner getting some adjustment are pretty high.”

Wayne Cohen

Law professor at George Washington University School of Law

“The odds of an individual property owner getting some adjustment are pretty high,” Cohen said, but there’s potential for the change to go in either direction.

Fewer than 5% of homeowners push back on property tax assessments, despite many having success, according to the National Taxpayers Union Foundation.

Appealing an assessment

Your property tax assessment letter may include an explanation of the appeals process, which varies by jurisdiction, including how long you have to respond, which may be less time than expected. 

After you get the letter, experts suggest to check it for errors, including the address, square footage of your home, and the number and types of rooms. 

“Assessing these values and administering a property tax system is just a massive undertaking,” said Omar Ochoa, a McAllen, Texas-based attorney. “So mistakes are bound to happen.”

The local tax office may base your assessment on similar homes that recently sold in your area, without visiting the property or seeing the interior. But they don’t see the home’s defects, like a leaky roof or basement that floods, Ochoa said.

The appeals process is typically “pretty straightforward,” Cohen said. But you may hire a professional appraiser to support your case, which may pay off for higher-value homes, he said.

“Remember, once you get it knocked down, it’s a reset,” Cohen added.

Property tax exemptions

You may also qualify for local property tax relief through an exemption, which may lower your bill, Cohen said. 

For example, some areas offer exemptions for low-income or disabled seniors, disabled veterans and their surviving spouses, depending on where you live. 

“If you’re really feeling the pinch of an unexpectedly high tax bill, it might be worth doing a little bit of research to find out if that’s available,” Sharga added.



Original Source Link

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest News

Phoenix real estate firm on a roll in Austin area, with another home rental community planned

NexMetro is credited with being a pioneer in the current build-to-rent trend and as of 2020 had invested...

Fiona Knocks Out Power With Hurricane-Strength Winds In Atlantic Canada

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia (AP) — Fiona knocked out power to more than 500,000 customers in Atlantic Canada Saturday,...

A Sweet, Slightly Clumsy Vampire Dramedy [Fantastic Fest]

Part of the fun of "Blood Relatives" is how Segan plays around with established vampire mythology. Yes, vampires...

Musk says Siegel ‘obviously correct’ with Fed critique, recession expectation

Wharton professor Jeremy Siegel is heaping criticism on Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell and expects a recession. Elon...

How crypto is playing a role in increasing healthy human lifespans

It's a question that's infatuated scientists for decades: how can we prolong life expectancy — giving humans everywhere...

Global climate leaders push for overhaul of IMF and World Bank

A rebellion against the status quo of the global financial architecture dating to the second world war gathered...

Must Read

Singapore’s Sentosa Cove Rallies For A Resurgence

Sentosa Island–Singapore’s waterfront playground where homeowners park yachts...
- Advertisement -

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you