If you own a house, chances are you are paying more property taxes than you should be paying. Therefore, it makes sense that you want to learn how to reduce these taxes, especially yours.
The amount of property taxes you owe in the United States or Canada is supposed to depend on the market value of the property. In an ideal world, the value of a given property would be in black and white, in other words perfectly easy to determine with precision.
The reality, however, is that there are many variables that affect the real market value of a property, and the appraisal process is fraught with pitfalls. Learning how to reduce property taxes on your property involves first identifying the mistakes that have been made and then questioning them.
Historically, many homeowners have been the victims of these inaccurate assessments. However, with large-scale turmoil in the US and Canadian real estate markets in recent times, this disparity is even more evident.
The bottom line is that if you are a homeowner, you need to understand how to reduce property taxes on your property and keep a watch on this value year after year. (Unless, of course, you are happy to make an additional tax donation to your municipality each year.)
Once you suspect your property is assessed incorrectly, the next step to lower your property taxes is to determine the current market value of your property. Then you need to compare this with the evaluated value as shown in the current records.
You can determine the market value of your property by yourself by comparing the official appraised values of houses similar to yours, adjusting these appraisals for obvious differences that could affect the value.
For example, if a house that is otherwise identical to yours in terms of style, age, living space, build quality, etc. is located on a lakeside property and yours adjoins a hog farm, you expect it to be valued differently. You will need to adjust the value of your home relative to comparable homes accordingly.
If you know a real estate broker who could help you, he or she likely knows of similar properties, including recent sales of similar properties to yours. This information can be used to support your request for a property tax reduction.
If you determine that in fact your property is assessed too high, you should present your findings to the local tax expert (sometimes it is an assessment committee ) from the city, town or county tax authority. It's always best to stick to the main point, that is, you think there are other properties similar to yours that are rated much lower than your property.
Be professional and don't let your emotions take over. Simply present your findings and request that the value of your property be adjusted to reflect these findings.
Make sure you know what the property tax schedule is for the tax administration, to make sure you file your tax reduction request in a timely manner. Otherwise, even the best arguments will have no value, for the current property tax year anyway. If you miss the deadline, you want to be sure to file your claim in time to challenge next year's tax assessment.
Learning how to reduce property taxes on your property is not difficult, and it can save you hundreds, even thousands, of dollars in unnecessary tax overpayments each year.