Although various localities have specific mechanisms, almost all have a process for appealing or aggrieving property taxes. In most cases, you can do this yourself, or you can hire someone else (or a company) to do it for you. Why would anyone worry about their real estate taxes? One reason could be that most of your neighbors do and you will suffer financially if you don’t. Another is, if you think your home is being appraised for more than it should be and therefore you will pay more taxes than you need to or should. Regardless of his reasons for doing so, every homeowner should know that he has certain options and rights, and this article will try to mention 3 of the basic steps to appeal and correct something that could negatively affect him.
1. Comparative Market Analysis (CMA): Before you can claim that you are being charged too much, you must create and present a basis for your belief. In almost every locality, one should amass realistic, relevant, and comparable homes, and compare what they are taxed with what you pay. For example, if you can locate 5 or 6 houses, which are similar in size, location, property, condition, etc., and their appraised values vary significantly from your house, you have created the best initial basis for the appeal. If you’re able to do it yourself, you’ll get the most benefit, but if you can’t, or don’t have the time or inclination, contact a reputable company to take care of this for you. In many cases, these companies will charge you up to 50% of your savings, but remember that’s still a lot better than you’d pay otherwise, etc. Plus, you’ll only be charged the fee, if you receive a reduced appraisal, and savings!
two. Show what others pay in taxes (or are assessed): Once you’ve identified the other relevant properties, show how much less they may be paying than you. This is what you submit as your complaint, etc.
3. Complete the necessary forms/documents: Depending on your location, this process can be quite simple or more complex/complicated. In either case, you must obtain and properly complete all necessary forms and documents. This is another reason why many people choose to use one of the companies that provide this service.
While it is your responsibility to pay your property taxes, it is not your responsibility to pay more than you fairly should! If you think you are paying taxes unfairly, relative to your neighbors, follow the complaint or appeals process.