Even if you have fully paid your mortgage, a high property tax bill can continue to make your home a burdensome expense. So if you feel your property taxes are too high, you should think about whether your assessor has accurately assessed your home. There are ways you can find out whether your home deserves a lower tax rate.
Kiplinger explains what you can do to help build a case that your assessor should give you a lower property tax. You might discover evidence that can form the basis of an appeal, or you may be able to correct the issue with the assessor office without the need for a formal appeal. You might even find other options that can lower your tax burden.
Checking your neighbors
Consider checking the property cards of homes near yours that have the same number of bathrooms and bedrooms and have comparable age and square footage. You want to see if their assessments are like yours or if they deviate significantly. You may find that the assessor has not treated your home fairly compared to similar properties in your neighborhood.
Checking your property record
Winning an appeal may be easier than you think. Sometimes it all comes down to clerical errors at the assessor office. Double check the description of your home that the assessor has on file. Look for any detail about your home, such as bedroom or bathroom measurements, that could be wrong. If you find an error, the assessor may correct the record and then adjust your assessed value without the trouble of going through an appeal.
Check for tax breaks
Do not overlook possible tax breaks that you can claim. There are different kinds of tax breaks available. If you are a senior citizen, you might claim a tax break. You might also have eligibility if you have served in the military, have a disability, or fall within certain income guidelines. You may have to send paperwork and prove your eligibility in order to claim a tax break, so do not assume it will be automatic.