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The government is in charge of calculating your property tax and they base it on the market value of your home. In some cases, assessors make errors that can cost you thousands of dollars in unnecessary tax payments. Fortunately, there may be options available to you to trim your property tax bill or appeal it.

How can you appeal your property tax?

While home values are rising across the country, property taxes are increasing as well. In 2017, the average homeowner paid property taxes of $3,399. If you believe your tax is too high, consider these tips for appealing your property tax:

  • Calculate your property tax: If you are serious about appealing your tax bill, you must understand how tax calculation. Generally, each municipality uses the tax rate and the current market value of your real property to reach their figure.
  • Obtain your property card: At your local town hall, you can request a copy of your property tax cards. These records are often also available online. These tax cards show what information your local government knows about your property. They likely have information on the dimensions of your lot and each room in your home. If there are any errors included in the document, bring them up with the tax assessor.
  • Downplay your home’s attractiveness: While there are guidelines that strictly outline how the evaluation process works, there is still some subjectivity included in the process. Tax assessors compare your home to others in the area. If your home is cosmetically pleasing compared to your neighbors, you could have a higher property tax.
  • Evaluate tax cards of similar homes: Just as your property information is available to the public, so are your neighbors. Choose a neighbor that has a similar home and find what their property tax is. Reporting any discrepancies to a tax assessor might help you lower your tax bill.
  • Let the evaluator walk through your home: Not allowing the tax assessor into your home usually does not help in any way. Typically, assessors will automatically give you the highest possible valuation of your home if they are denied access. Walking the evaluator through your home is the best way to highlight your home.

If you think that your property tax is incorrect, you may want to get in touch with a real estate attorney. If you would like to appeal the tax bill, your lawyer can help you start that process too.