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How to lower your property taxes

Everyone likes to save money right?

So we put together the short post on how you can save some money by lowering your property taxes

How does it work?

The first thing to understand is property taxes do not always correspond with home values. Local governments don’t generally measure values every year and some have limits on annual property-tax increases.

As a result, current property taxes might reflect the home’s value when the market was stronger. According to the Congressional Budget Office, property tax adjustments lag behind changes in home prices by an average of three years.

Although homeowners can’t change their property-tax rate, which is set by the local government, homeowners can get their property tax assessment lowered if they appeal to their local assessor.

One key to a successful appeal is fact checking the tax assessor’s work. About half of all successful appeals come from homeowners pointing out an error in the assessor’s description of the home, according to one property tax expert.

During the appeal process, which is similar to a less-formal court hearing, homeowners may present their case to several local officials or representatives.

The most effective way to convince officials that a property has been incorrectly valued is to provide evidence of the sales price of homes that comparable to your property. This should include square footage, amenities, and neighborhood characteristics. Sale documents and photos of the property in question, as well as the comparable properties also should be brought in. Establish your case, and if the numbers make sense they will grant you a reduction.

Homeowners who have made improvements or substantial changes to the property should be cautious about appealing an assessment though, as it could have negative effects and actually increase the property’s value and, in turn, the property taxes.

Want to know more about real estate property taxes?

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