With the regular tax season over; it is now time to move onto PROPERTY TAXES. In a recent study by Zillow, a U. S. property owner pays an average of around $2,800.00, or approximately 1.4 percent of their home’s value each year for property taxes. Of course, this figures is an “AVERAGE” and some home owners will pay more, while others will pay less.
Although there is no single formula used to calculate REAL ESTATE PROPERTY TAXES, more than 13,500 local governments have the authority to assess property taxes; allowing local governments to set their own tax rates even though many states place limits on their rates.
Property taxes are paid twice a year and many real estate agents report an increase in calls around these two periods of the years with home owners questioning their tax bill; if it is too much, how the home owner can fight it and if the real estate agent can help.
First and most importantly, a home owner MUST start an appeal within 60 days from when the assessments are mailed. You can check with your local authorities to for details and to obtain copies of the forms you’ll need to complete. A homeowner cannot refuse too pay their property taxes, but they may be able to get the assessed value of their home lowered by filing this appeal.
When looking to file your appeal, you will need to have done your homework. This includes knowing your neighborhood. Most assessments are done on a one-to three-year cycle. If home prices in your neighborhood have declined, it is possible that you may be paying more than your fair share in taxes. A home owner filing a REAL ESTATE PROPERTY TAX appeal will need to be able to show that their tax liability is higher with comparable of homes like yours. Comparable homes should be the same in size, location and with the same amenities. You can find this information with your local assessor or on local real estate sites and must consist of at least five homes that have SOLD in the last year. If your home is 5 to 10 percent higher than the SOLD comparable homes, you may have a successful appeal.
Once you have researched your data and filed your appeal, you will need to present your case. Research performed by the National Taxpayers Union shows that roughly 60 percent of U. S. properties are over-assessed. If you believe you are one of the over-assessed, you can ask for an informal meeting with your local assessor to go over your data with a local representative from your local assessor’s office. If you can’t get an appointment with the assessor or your assessment isn’t adjusted from your informal meeting, then you may want to file a formal meeting.
If you pursue a formal appeal, it must be in writing along with your evidence of comparable home data in order for the request for a reassessment to happen. Most decisions are generally made within two to four weeks.