How to Lower Your Property Taxes

How to Lower Property Taxes

Could you lower your property taxes?

New property values have been made public and you may be surprised by a leap in your home’s estimated value. This is great if you want to sell your house soon. Otherwise, this increase only means higher property taxes!

Even if your home hasn’t increased in value, you may want to lower your existing property taxes. Below are a few ways you might be able to bring the amount down by contesting your tax appraisal.

Correct Any Errors – Look closely at your tax appraisal, as it was probably assessed from a drive-by inspection. Are any of the measurements wrong? Believe it or not, mistakes like this are fairly common. Sometimes, the square footage might be inflated or the appraiser might have been under the impression that you had more rooms or a finished out basement. In any case, those mistakes are easy to prove.

Look at Surrounding Home Values – If your next-door neighbors have houses that are comparable in size and their property is valued much lower, that could be grounds for the county lowering your house’s appraised value. Conduct some thorough research on all the nearby houses in order to back up your claim. Property tax records may be available online in some states.

Contest The Value – It’s Your Right

It is your legal right to contest your house’s appraisal, though very few people do it. This is a shame, as many homeowners would have a valid case and could potentially save a lot of money each year.

If you feel you have adequate proof that your house was overvalued or that the appraiser made a mistake, visit your local assessor’s office or Website.

There, you will find the official forms you need to contest your house’s value. One caveat: there is a deadline for filing a protest, so conduct your research as soon as property values are posted each year.

Editor’s Note: I recently recieved my County’s Propery Tax Statement. My property’s value estimate was slightly below what it was appraised for when we purchased our home 6 months ago.

How about you…Did your value go down or up this year?

Heather Johnson is a regular commentator on the subject of small business.

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  1. I am wondering if my neighbor has more bedrooms and bathrooms and more land then me but is paying less taxes then me can I bring this up and get my taxes lowered?

  2. Sarah Love says

    My house was over-assessed because I live in a neighborhood that experienced a sharp decline in real estate value. This year I decided to file an appeal with the help of a company called Pacific Coast Securities, because I did not want to risk being rejected. They actually have a money back guarantee if your taxes are not reduced and only charged me $99 for saving me $1,100. Good luck! I hope you save a lot of money.

  3. The Happy Rock says

    In NJ I have seen that most houses are generally assessed well below market value for tax purposes.

    I think our house is assessed at 116,000, yet is worth in th 160-170 range.

  4. Yes, great post Heather. Thanks for sharing it.

  5. ideal4investors says

    Heather, this is great advice. And a good reminder that we should be looking at a lot of different avenues for saving money.