Advertisement
Tax Breaks

Cut Your Property Tax

More than half of the nation's homes are assessed for too much, and a third of property-tax appeals succeed.

The rural county where I live has just reassessed real estate values, and my home's assessment more than tripled, as did most others in the country. The assessed value is now more than my most recent property appraisal. Should I appeal? What information would I have to present?

Go for it. As many as 60% of homes are assessed for too much, estimates Pete Sepp, of the National Taxpayers Union, and about 33% of property-tax appeals succeed.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Procedures vary, but you generally have 30 to 60 days after receiving an assessment notice to file an appeal. Ask the assessor's office for a copy of your property card, which documents the information on which the assessment was based. If the card lists the wrong number of rooms or square footage, for example, you may be able to get your assessment changed without a formal appeal.

If the information is accurate, go to Zillow.com to see how your home's assessment stacks up against others in your neighborhood. If you find that similar homes are assessed at a lower value, you may have a strong case.

If you spot big discrepancies, check your local assessor's office's records for more details on homes with similar features and lower assessments. Or find comparable assessments and explain why your home's value should be lower, says Sepp, whose organization publishes the helpful brochure How to Fight Property Taxes ($6.95). Some jurisdictions also allow you to submit as evidence market-value information, such as your recent appraisal.

Advertisement

Most Popular

What Are the Income Tax Brackets for 2020 vs. 2019?
tax brackets

What Are the Income Tax Brackets for 2020 vs. 2019?

The IRS unveiled the 2020 tax brackets, and it's never too early to start planning to minimize your future tax bill.
June 20, 2020
Tax Changes and Key Amounts for the 2020 Tax Year
tax law

Tax Changes and Key Amounts for the 2020 Tax Year

Americans are facing a long list of tax changes for the 2020 tax year...and it's never too early to start thinking about next year's return.
June 22, 2020
10 Tax Breaks for the Middle Class
tax deductions

10 Tax Breaks for the Middle Class

Tax breaks aren't just for the rich. There are plenty of them that are only available to middle- and low-income Americans.
June 30, 2020

Recommended

12 Things Every Home Buyer Should Do
real estate

12 Things Every Home Buyer Should Do

Buying a home may be one of the biggest purchases you will ever make.
June 12, 2020
11 Things Every Home Seller Should Do
real estate

11 Things Every Home Seller Should Do

As a home seller, your goal is to sell your property quickly for the most money possible.
June 12, 2020
20 Best Stocks to Buy for the Next Bull Market
stocks

20 Best Stocks to Buy for the Next Bull Market

The stock market isn't out of the woods yet, but it's getting late in the game for defense. These are 20 of the best stocks to buy now as you prepare …
May 22, 2020
14 Must-Have Items for Your Home Emergency Kit
real estate

14 Must-Have Items for Your Home Emergency Kit

Now more than ever, you need to be prepared to survive on your own in the case of disaster -- days without power, food or water from the tap.
May 21, 2020