How To Lower Your Property Taxes

Understand Your Local Tax SystemDifferent local governments use different methods to determine home values and assess the related taxes. Call your local tax assessor’s office and ask how they determine home values. Typically, local governments calculate your property taxes based upon the value of your home. How the value of your home is determined has a huge impact on the amount you pay. If local laws or home values change, you might be able to reduce your tax liability.Review Tax Property CardRequest to view your property tax cards from your local assessor’s office. The card provides you with information your local government gathers about your property. It includes information about the lot size, house size, room measurements, and the type of fixtures located within the home. It can even include information on special features, or notations about any improvements that have been made to your house.Think Twice About RemodelingIf you plan to make any structural improvements to your home, it will increase your property tax bill. These include decks, pools, storage sheds, or any other permanent fixture that will increase the value of your house. Keep this in mind when you are calculating the total cost of the project. You can call your local tax departments for assistance.Limit Curb AppealTax assessors use a very strict set of guidelines when evaluating a house. However, the assessment does contain a certain amount of subjectivity. For example, more physically attractive homes will receiver higher assessments. In addition, property is always being compared to other houses in the area. Try not to make too many cosmetic improvements to your house before an assessment. Also, avoid any physical improvements to your house such as new counter tops or stainless steel appliances until after your home has been assessed.Walk with the AssessorMost people will allow the tax assessor to wander around their homes unguided during their evaluation. This can be a huge mistake as some assessors will only see the good things in a house and might overlook areas where the home is lacking. To make sure this does not happen, walk through your home with the assessor and point out both good and bad points. This ensures you get the fairest possible value of your home.File an AppealIf you think the value of your property is incorrect, then file an appeal to your local taxing authority. Within a few of weeks you should receive a notice acknowledging your appeal. Note that it can take months to get your appeal heard. Before the day of your hearing, it is a good idea to attend a local a hearing to get accustomed to the proceedings.Move to a Lesser Taxed AreaEvery local government has different property tax rates. Just by moving a few miles you may be able to greatly reduce your property taxes. However, before making any rash decisions, always perform ample research on the local tax rates.

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