If you believe the property tax imposed on you by the local assessor is not justified, you always have the right to appeal for tax assessment. The procedure outlined below will help you understand the basic steps involved in the process.
Examine your tax bill carefully
Carefully examine your tax bill, checking if the basic information about your house is accurate. The basic information includes covered area in square feet, number of floors, bedrooms, bathrooms, sunrooms and garages etc. For example, if you have removed a garage to increase the size of front lawn, the value of your property will go down. If the tax bill is still showing a garage, contact the assessor’s office and appeal to reassess the property value and revise the property tax.
Compare your property’s assessment to comparable properties
After carefully examining the tax bill, compare the assessment of your property with comparable properties in the neighbourhood. If you find a difference between the two assessments, and believe that the discrepancy will help lower your taxes, then contact the tax calculating entity and discuss your situation with the concerned person and request a meeting. Usually such issues get resolved at the initial meeting, but if you fail to find a solution, you always have an option to formally appeal tax assessment.
File tax assessment appeal within the deadline date
Usually the owner is given a deadline of 30 to 120 days for filing a property tax deadline. Make sure you file an appeal well within this deadline. Contact the assessor to know the deadline date as well as the guidelines. Write down the appeal, attach all the necessary documents that you believe can strengthen your case, and send it to the concerned department through certified mail so that you have proof that the appeal was filed in time.
Attend a few tax assessment appeal hearings before yours
Once you have formally filed the appeal for tax assessment, it is recommended to attend at least a couple of tax assessment appeal hearings. This will help you decide which strategy would work best for you during your own tax appeal hearing.
Take evidences of decline in property’s value
Do not forget to take the evidences of decline in the value of your estate when you go for the hearing. The evidence can include photos of the demolished garage, an assessment of your property carried out by a certified appraiser or a list of mitigating circumstances that you believe have lowered the value of your estate. Make sure you remain organized when presenting your case.