Many property owners know next to nothing about property tax assessment. Of course, they are familiar enough to understand the necessary steps to take when the tax report comes yearly.
Still, for most who have their payments taken from their mortgage escrow account, it’s hard to pay much attention to the assessment. Not paying attention to your tax assessment can be risky, especially if it comes with an exaggerated figure of your property’s value.
Lowering your property taxes is very much possible, but you have to initiate the process.
What Does Lowering Property Taxes Entail?
First, I’d like to clarify that you can’t lower your property tax rate. Your local tax office is in charge of calculating tax rate rates, which is a fixed rate. But what you can do is lower your property tax assessment, so you get a fair value for your property.
Perhaps you’re wondering how to lower property taxes; take note of these suggestions.
1. Review Your Tax Bill
There are two parts to your tax bill: your property’s assessed value and the tax rates applied. An excellent first step to take when trying to lower your property tax is to assess this report when it comes in the mail and get familiar with the figures.
To determine whether your assessment is correct, you’d need the help of an expert. If you have a tax reduction expert on your payroll, then you’re in luck. However, you could simply ask a local assessor for information on how property is valued.
It is also advisable to request your property card, which would contain information about your home or property, including square footage, number of rooms, and special features and improvements. That could provide much-needed insight.
2. Appeal Your Assessment
Tax assessors make mistakes, and these mistakes could reflect in your tax bill. Property tax experts know that tax assessors are not always correct and can easily pinpoint any wrong calculations in your bill after a thorough assessment of your property card.
A successful appeal depends on several factors, but first, you must know the correct timeframe. The amount of time you have to appeal your tax valuation varies by jurisdiction, but it could be anywhere from 30 to 60 days.
Once you miss that window, you’d have to wait a year or more for another chance. In that time, you’d have to keep paying the higher rate. For the appeal process, you’d have to fill several forms and also put together a credible reason for your appeal as well as proof of the miscalculation.
For this, you’d need the help of a property tax reduction expert who’s not only familiar with the process but can guarantee the success of your appeal.
3. Check To See If You Qualify For Any Tax Reliefs or Discounts
Apart from appealing your assessment, another way to lower your property taxes is by qualifying for discounts. Not all states offer property tax reliefs, but you could be eligible for such reductions as the homestead exemption. Senior citizens, veterans, and individuals with disabilities may also qualify for tax reductions.
Bear in mind that your local tax office will not automatically grant these reductions, so you have to check with your local assessor for available tax relief programs before applying.