Home owners know the pain of property taxes. Every year, they pay them. Some people pay them every month, as they are lumped into their mortgage payments. However, you may be spending more money than you should be on property taxes if you don’t check your home value assessment. Every few years, your home’s value is assessed, and you are charged accordingly. But you can get a boost to your personal finances if you check your assessment, and then challenge if you find a problem.
Checking your home value assessment
The value of your home (and your neighbors’ homes) is a matter of public record. You should be able to go down to your municipal office and have a look. You should also ask for a copy when the assessor makes the assessment. Look for errors. Sometimes mistakes like more square footage than you actually have creep in. Other times, the assessor might miss such items as a crack in your home’s foundation. These are things that can lower the value of your home, and entitle you to pay less in property taxes.
You should also look at the values of the homes around you. Is your listed as a higher value than your neighbors’ homes? Find out why. Make sure you have good documents and even photos and then arrange an appointment with the assessor. Speak with the assessor to address your problems. If nothing is done, you can file an appeal. Make sure that you file your appeal within the specified time, however.
Always check your home value assessment. And check your city’s policy on assessing for tax purposes as well. Most municipalities do, in fact, make assessments at a percentage of the value for property tax purposes. The value may be 60% or even as low as 50%. However, in order to raise more revenue, they may not inform you of this. You think that you are let off the hook when the city informs you that your home, which is worth $175,000, assess for $125,000. However, if you check into the policy, and the percentage is 50%, your home’s value for property taxes should only be $87,500. You’ve actually been stiffed.
Always double check your home value assessment. While it might be accurate, and you may be paying the correct amount in property taxes, there is always the chance that you are paying more than you should be. And that can be a savings of anywhere from a couple hundred dollars a year to more than a thousand dollars.
You can find out more by visiting the American Homeowners Association Web site.