How to Fight Property Tax. Unfortunately for homeowners everywhere, as property values increase, so do property taxes. The most common way to fight property tax is to appeal the assessed value of your property. This is often an effective way to lower the amount of property taxes you are required to pay each year. Still, there are a few other steps to consider in beginning your fight against rising property taxes.
Appeal the assessment of your property's value to fight the amount of property tax you are being asked to pay. It's a good idea to establish a timeline for the appeals process to make sure you are aware of all relevant deadlines for submitting your appeal. In many cases, you may have less than a few months to file your appeal before the deadline.
Monitor your property assessment each year. Check to make sure that any changes to your property during the course of each year is reflected in the assessment, especially if it is something that may reduce the estimated value of your property. These negative factors may include reductions in the amount of living space due to renovations or increases in traffic around your property making it less accessible.
Meet with your local government's official assessor to discuss his assessment of your property. Most appeal cases are able to be resolved without going to a formal hearing, assuming your local government allows informal meetings with the official assessor. This meeting is generally looked at as a negotiation, so it is important to prepare your argument and remain as calm and collected as possible.
Sit in on another person's formal hearing to fight property tax before participating in your own. If your informal meeting the assessor is unsuccessful and you decide to move forward to a formal hearing, it's a good idea to get a sense of the process to figure out the best way to present your argument during your own hearing. You may also be able to get an idea of the way the review board responds to certain types of arguments.
Ask your neighbors to join you to appeal the assessed values of properties in your neighborhood as a group. There is often strength in numbers when organizing a fight against property tax, especially if you can point out changes to the neighborhood as a group that may have caused negative effects on the value of the properties in general, such as increased levels of noise.
It's important to know that most local governments will not hear an appeal case to fight the assessed value of your property unless there is a significant difference between the suggested market and assessed values. It's usually required that the difference be as much as 10 percent, so in many cases, a few thousand dollars may not be enough to appeal.