challenge the assessment, lower your taxes

Challenge the Assessment, Lower Your Taxes

Due to the stay at home orders, the deadline for challenging your property tax assessment this year may be later than normal, but when you are notified you will want to be ready to decide on whether you can save some money on your property taxes this year.

The assessment of value and the property tax rate are the two elements that determine the amount of property taxes you will pay for the year. These determinations happen long before the property tax statement is sent.

As a property owner, you will be notified in writing what your assessed value is for the year. Experts estimate that most property owners will not challenge the value even though it might lower their tax bill. Many homeowners believe it is worth the effort to appeal, even though not all appeals will be successful. The letter will generally include procedures for you to challenge the assessment and a deadline for filing the change.

Your initial step is to make sure the information on your property records like market value and square footage is accurate. If the property record has higher square footage than what is actual, it can be a cause for the value to be higher. Using your last appraisal can be proof given by a third party that the square footage on your home is off.

Assessors use recent comparable sales to determine the market value of your property but they don’t usually identify which properties they used. You can research comparable sales that show a lower value and then submit these to the assessor’s office informally or in a challenge hearing.

It is important that you use properties that are recent sales, comparable in size, condition, amenities, and in the same area to establish a new value.

There are companies that will represent the owner to lower their assessment.  The fee charged is usually a percentage of the taxes that are saved.  It is not a complicated procedure and can be very gratifying if you make the effort.

I can be a valuable source of information and experience to guide you through the process. Call me at (703) 303-4010 for more information and a list of comparable sales.

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