How to Reassess County Property Tax to Save Money in the Current Economy

by Contributor ; Updated July 27, 2017
Your realtor can also help you compare property tax assessments.

It is a good time to reassess your county property taxes and save. Most homeowners do not realize that the last time their property was assessed for taxes may have been when their home value was much higher. Thus, contacting your county tax assessor for a property value reevaluation may save you hundreds in property taxes. The assessed value of a property cannot exceed the fair market value, so state law provides a way to reevaluate the assessed value when the market declines. To see if you may qualify for a county property tax reduction, follow a few simple steps.

Step 1

Contact a local realtor to get some current comparable property assessments. You can also do this online. Compare these values to your home’s last assessed value. You can locate your previous property assessment on your annual property tax bill under the valuation information section. If the value is significantly lower, you may qualify for a lower tax rate.

Step 2

Access your county tax assessor’s website to see if there is a charge for having your property taxes reassessed. Each county differs but most will reassess at no charge. The possible savings makes this well worth pursuing.

Step 3

Find out how your county assessor determines property values. Some counties do a mass comparison with similar homes in the area. Some do a complete home inspection; some merely look at the exterior. Depending on how your assessor determines value could put you at an advantage or disadvantage.

Step 4

Contact your local tax assessor via phone or email. Many counties also have forms on their websites for reassessment that you can fill out and mail. Apply for reassessment and attach a copy of the comparables that you received. If you are within the proper assessment amount as the assessor determines, officials will determine it is not worth their time to come out and reevaluate. Also, be sure to ask if the process could possibly increase your taxable amount. A general rule of thumb is that the property tax is roughly one percent of the assessed market value.

Tips

  • Many states also offer rebates and rollback programs for properties that have declined in value.

    Some counties require petitions for reassessment to be filed before a certain date. Contact your assessor for details.

Warnings

  • You have the right to see the assessment report on your home, which is available in public records. Check for obvious errors, such as too many bathrooms listed or too many rooms.

    Be aware that private companies may solicit you to do the process for a fee. However, the process is simple to do yourself and most counties do not charge anything.

Photo Credits

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