What To Do If Your Property Taxes Are Too High
Did you recently get hit with a higher property tax bill than you anticipated? It is likely from the city assessor valuing your home as being worth more than it was at the last assessment period. This puts your tax obligation much higher than it was before, which you may not be prepared to pay. Thankfully, there are things that you can do if you find yourself in a situation where you don't feel your property taxes are fair.
Appeal The Taxes Yourself
You are always welcome to appeal your property taxes on your own. There are forms that you have to fill out for your county where you find comparable properties to your own to prove that your property taxes are too high. The problem is that many people do not know how to find the right comparable properties.
You need to find properties that are not only similar to your home in terms of construction, layout, and square footage, but also location. If you find a comparable property in a neighboring city or even the opposite side of town, you may have those examples rejected because they are not in the same area. Different neighborhoods can have different property values based on the school system, proximity to public transportation, or even being away from a busy street.
It will take a lot of work to track down the appropriate properties, and sometimes it can be difficult to pick which ones should be the real estate comparables.
Appeal The Taxes With Your Lawyer
Another option is to hire a property tax consultant to help fight your taxes for you. They are going to be doing many of the things that you would do on your own, but have the experience to do it quickly. They know what your city will look for when appealing property taxes, and will ensure that mistakes are not made during the appeal process. You should also realize that simply using a property tax consultant will give more credibility to the appeal. The city may be less likely to reject your appeal knowing that you are working with a law firm.
The cost of using a lawyer to appeal your property taxes should not be that much. They typically take a percentage of the money that you save from the first year of reduced property taxes. This means that there is no risk to using them, since you only pay if you see cost savings in your taxes.
If your property taxes are higher than anticipated, contact a property tax consultant to understand why.