If you felt surprised the first time you received a summons to pay property taxes, you are not the only one. Many people, especially first-time homebuyers forget that owning property means paying taxes on that property.
A basic understanding of how officials assess your property’s value and determine your taxes may provide reassurance.
A look at your property
Several factors influence the value of your property, which may fluctuate over time. According to Realtor, some of the factors used to determine property value include the following:
- Income generated from the use of your property
- Replacement costs if a casualty destroys your property
- The selling prices of nearby properties
- The value of any improvements or renovations on your property
The value of the number an assessor concludes is then used in an equation along with an “assessment ratio.” The resulting number plays a critical role in calculating your tax bill.
A right to appeal
In some circumstances, you may feel that your property tax inaccurately reflects your property’s value. Fortunately, by law, you have the right to appeal a property tax assessment. Proving the illegitimacy of your tax amount is the tricky part. You may consider hiring an attorney to help you through this process. Legal professionals understand angles of tax law that may enlighten you to a strategy that will give you a winning shot at a satisfactory outcome.
If you do feel at all unhappy about your property tax and plan to file an appeal, a proactive response can prevent worse troubles. Because not paying your taxes is also breaking the law, you should disclose your intention to appeal as soon as possible.