How To Appeal Your Property Taxes

Dated: 08/18/2016

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The National Taxpayers Union (NTU) says that up to 60% of homeowners may be paying too much in property tax. Typically fewer than 5 percent of taxpayers challenge their assessments, even though the majority who do so win at least a partial victory when properly prepared. NTU also offers a Homeowner’s Checklist of helpful tips for appealing your assessment.

Here are some steps to take if you think you’re overpaying:

  • Visit your tax office’s website or local office to obtain a copy of your property’s assessment (called a property card) and the instructions and forms you need to appeal. The appeal process can vary depending on where you live, so follow your tax office’s instructions carefully.

  • Scrutinize the assessor’s description of your property. Look for errors that inflate the value of your home, such as incorrect square footage, nonexistent amenities or an improper lot size. Any assessment error will help your appeal.

  • Compare the assessment of your property with recent sale prices of similar homes in your neighborhood. Try to find five homes that are similar but valued lower than yours. If necessary, have a Real Estate Agent pull comparable sales data (comps) for you. If it’s difficult to find comps that help your case, consider hiring an appraiser.

  • Build your case by collecting photos and documents that back up your claim, fill out your tax office’s required forms and submit by the deadline.

  • Pay your property bill on time. An appeal does not change your due date.

Finally, if you don’t want to do the legwork necessary to appeal, find a property-tax expert who will help you for a fee or on a contingency basis.
Always consult a tax advisor for tax information and advice.

Source: MBS Quoteline

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David Sarnowski

David is a seasoned real estate professional, specializing in residential sales, rentals and investment properties. David is a 15 year resident of the New Jersey Gold Coast, with the local knowledge n....

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