How to Lower your Property Taxes ( Part 3)

by The Real Estate Faction on September 8, 2011

Checking Your Assessment

Most local governments allow residents roughly 10 days to 30 days to appeal their assessment after notification. To figure out the timeframe in your county or city, check your reassessment notice, which is typically sent in the mail, or call your local assessor’s office.

Ms. Weaver’s case points to the importance of ensuring your assessor has accurately described your property. To do this, you will need to review what is called the “property record card,” a summary of the characteristics of your home. Make sure there isn’t an extra bedroom, say, or three bathrooms instead of two. Extra features can drive up the value of your home. You can usually find a description of your home on your assessor’s website. If not, you might have to visit the assessor’s office.

If you have made substantial changes to your home—a refurbished basement or new marble counter tops—you might want to be a bit wary of an appeal, since it could have the unintended effect of driving your assessment even higher. But property-assessment advisers say you shouldn’t be too careful. If you feel your property is being overvalued by more than a few thousand dollars, it usually is worth the effort to appeal, they say.

Similarly, look closely at the assessor’s description of your home to ensure that any characteristics that would drive down the value of your property—repeated flooding in your backyard, for instance, or a leaky roof that would be expensive to replace—are duly noted.


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