Can you save on your property taxes?

Most counties in the United States have some sort of property tax they levy against property owners that is used to finance the different priorities in those counties.  They may help pay for emergency services, schools, government salaries, road maintenance and any number of other items.

It’s important that as property owners we all chip in and do our part and it’s also the law.  We’re all for paying our part but don’t want to pay more than we have to if we can avoid it.

Property taxes are assessed on properties based on what the county says that a property is worth.  So, if the county assesses your property high then your taxes will be higher than if it were low.  Makes sense doesn’t it?

However, the assessment process doesn’t always make sense.  In many counties the value assessment is done every 4-5 years and typically is done as an exterior only assessment, not taking into consideration for what the interior of the home looks like or what improvements have been made.  That can be good or bad.

We once saw a home valued at about 2 times its actual value simply because it was made out of brick.  It had not taken into consideration the interior or the location.  On the other hand, we’ve seen homes assessed at much lower values than what they would bring if they were to try and sell it.

If you’re interested in your home’s county assessed value then you can visit your county’s auditor website.  You just have to look up your county’s auditor’s website.  Most have a link to search your home’s value.

What if you believe your assessment is too high?

If you think your property has been assessed too high and believe you are paying too much in taxes then the first step is to contact your auditor and ask how you can challenge the value.  Most of the time they have a process that consists of you getting an appraisal done on your home and then going through a review process with some paperwork.  Check and see if the appraisal you used when you purchased the home can be used or if you need to get a new one.  A new appraisal can cost around $500 so you may save some on taxes this year but may end up paying it to an appraiser.  However, you would save that potential for a few years after.

It’s a little bit of a process but depending on what you are trying to do, you might just save a little.  We can possibly help you out in this process and give you an idea of its actual value based on current comparable homes.  Just let us know how we can help.