Here’s a quick guide for protesting your property tax.
It’s that time of year where everyone should be receiving their property tax bill in the mail. If you haven’t yet received it, I suggest visiting your county’s website because they’re currently posting 2020 property values.
What do you do if you want to protest your property tax, though?
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the protesting process has changed somewhat, but the forms are still being sent out and filling them out is your first step. There are a few things you should keep in mind and some items you need to gather.
First, if it’s to your benefit, you should list what you paid for the property and provide the closing statement. If it’s not to your benefit, don’t list what you paid for the property and simply state why you think your property is worth less.
To do this, you’ll need comparable sales. If you call us and inquire about your home’s value, we’d be happy to send a market analysis you can use. You can also use tax records to pull your neighbors’ information and see how the county is assessing their properties. How much do they have the land and house assessed for? Home improvements and land are the two arguable points to contest.
Additionally, if there are areas of your home that you’ve neglected, now’s a great time to take photos of them. You want to share these photos when explaining why, for example, your home needs a new roof and therefore should be worth less.
Next, look on the county website and check how they’ve coded your property. The county has ways of coding your property to alert them of its probable condition. You can request this coding if you don’t see it on the website. Again, you’ll want to compare your home’s coding to how they’re coding other properties.
Protesting your property tax is the way to go if you don’t want to see your home’s tax value increase because the county will keep increasing it until you tell them not to. If you don’t want to go through the protesting process yourself, I have a list of companies who’ll do it for you, and I’d be happy to share it (more on that below).
I use some of these companies for a few of my properties occasionally because, beyond the initial protesting phase, I don’t have time to set up a one-on-one meeting with county representatives and tell them why I want to pay less in taxes. If you do go through the second phase, you’ll present your case to a group of your peers who’ll then come to a decision.
If you’d like to know more about protesting your property tax, or see which companies can do the job for you, check out this link.
As always, if you have questions about this or any real estate topic, or you’re thinking of buying or selling a home soon, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’m happy to help.