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Property Taxes: If you aren’t protesting, you are paying too much

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By Theresa Vu, Property Tax Consultant

Each year, the county sends out new tax bills for the coming year.  One of the biggest expense for homeowners is property taxes. With fewer than 20 percent of property owners appealing their assessment, there’s a good chance the majority are paying more than their fair share. Here’s how to fight—and reduce—your property tax bill.

1. Provide HUD/Purchase Price.

If you purchased a property within the past two years and the assessment is above the purchase price, submit the closing statement to the County.

2. Look for mistakes on your property description.

Check the County’s website to ensure your property’s square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and lot size are reflected accurately in their assessment of your property.

3. Highlight your home’s flaws.

Provide pictures and repairs estimates of your home’s major structural issues. Negative influences surrounding your property, such as a busy street or train tracks, are also evidence to support a lower assessment.

4. Gather your comps.

Find out what similar residences in your neighborhood are worth. Check online or contact a real estate agent to see what local homes sold for.

5. Meet with the County.

Appeal in person or online by the protest deadline. Special Note*: For protests on your homestead, the reduction must be below your homestead cap in order to save on taxes.

6. Get professional help. 

Don’t have time to do all this homework? Consider hiring a property tax expert. Most work on a contingency basis, in which you pay a portion of tax savings if the protest succeeded.

Property owners are routinely overcharged, although few know they can appeal.  It is best to file a protest every year to have the opportunity of saving hundreds, or even thousands of dollars. Whether you decide to do it yourself or use a tax consultant, everyone has the right to appeal their tax bill – and should!  Special Note*: Your tax value does not affect your market value.

 

Contact Cameron Appraisal Group at 940-337-9132.

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