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7 Steps to Appeal Your Property Tax Bill

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Home values have risen across the country, which means many homeowners’ property taxes are going up, too.

In New Jersey, home to some of the highest property taxes in the U.S., the average property tax bill rose 2.4% to $8,354 in 2015, the largest increase in four years. In Massachusetts, the average single-home property tax bill for 2016 is $5,438, up 3.9% from 2015. If your property tax bill has increased significantly, you may have grounds for an appeal, particularly if the increase seems out of line with overall appreciation in your area.

Most jurisdictions give you 90 days after you receive a new assessment to appeal, although some close the appeals window after 30 days, says Pete Sepp, president of the National Taxpayers Union. Some lawyers handle property tax appeals on a contingency basis, but most homeowners can appeal on their own, Sepp says.

Plenty of property owners challenge their assessments each year, and between 20% and 40% of them win lower assessments and lower property tax bills. The following steps will show you the way to success.

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