What is a Property Tax Appeal?

Your property tax assessment, rules, and appeal process varies significantly by county, township, city, and etc. The rules and calculations can vary greatly from one jurisdiction to another. We at PropTaxPros have professional knowledge of the local rules, regulations, policies, and procedures for your region. This ensures we do not make mistakes!

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How are your property taxes determined?

Your local assessor determines the market value of your home by looking at comparable home sales in your region. The assessor’s simply do not have the time or resources to analysis every home individually. Due to this, almost all jurisdictions utilize a mass appraisal algorithm that analyzes properties by large areas. This often includes thousands of homes at a time. An equalization ratio, tax rates, and other elements are factored in the calculation. After the assessment is done, they will send you your assessment notice.

 

Who is over assessed?

In our professional experience, 1 out of 3 homes in the U.S. is over assessed. The Wall St. Journal recently said, “half of all homeowners may be paying too much.” Most homeowners have no idea they are overpaying and that it is their legal right to appeal their property tax assessment if they are overpaying! Even if your assessment valuation seems to be around the market value, it may be still be over assessed due to a number of factors such as assessment ratios.

What is required to appeal?

A property tax appeal must be filed within a very specific window of time. Learn how much time you have to file an appeal If you do not file during this timeframe, you miss your opportunity to reduce your property tax bill for the next year. Every region’s appeal window is different. Most appeal windows only last a few months. The appeal normally requires one of these specific items as evidence to support a case:

  1. 3 or more comparable homes (“comps”) that sold for less than the assessed value of your home in the 3 years prior to the assessment date.
  2. Between 3-5 comparable homes that are assessed for less than your home is assessed for.
  3. Major construction defects in your home such as: a leaking roof, cracked foundation, and etc.
  4. Proof that a data error exists that unfairly raised your assessed value, such as: the data shows you have 4 bedrooms for your home when there are only 3.

 

Choosing comparable home sales

This is the toughest and most time consuming part of an appeal. Every region has different rules and procedures specifying which comps are valid to apply in the appeal. Realtors and real estate websites can be used for finding comps however, many of their comps will not qualify for use and will result in an appeal denial. There are many reasons comps are deemed unqualified for use in an appeal, such as:

  • Part of a foreclosure
  • Part of a short sale
  • Part of an inheritance
  • Part of a foreclosure
  • Part of a short sale
  • Part of an inheritance
  • To a non-profit charity
  • After the assessment date