If you ask most homeowners what their least favorite bill is, they’ll say property taxes. No one wants to pay more than they have to, but with property taxes continuing to rise, it’s getting harder and harder to keep up.
Table of Contents
- Can You Reduce Your Property Taxes?
- 1. Limit Home Improvement Projects
- 2. Keep Your Home in Good Repair
- 3. Research Neighboring Home Values
- 4. Participate During Your Assessor’s Walkthrough
- 5. Hire an Independent Appraiser
- 6. File an Appeal
- 7. Check If You Qualify for Tax Exemptions
- 8. Check Your Tax Bill For Inaccuracies
- Final Thought
Can You Reduce Your Property Taxes?
The answer is maybe. It depends on your state and local laws, as well as the value of your home. Do your research on your local government website.
Some states have programs that allow seniors or people with low incomes to reduce their property taxes, while other states offer a tax credit if you make improvements to your home.
To find out what options are available to you, it’s best to contact your local tax assessor’s office. They can tell you what programs are available and how to apply for them.
In some cases, you may be able to reduce your property taxes by appealing your assessment. If you think your home is being taxed too high, you can file an appeal with your local board of equalization. They will review your case and may lower your assessment, which would reduce your property taxes.
1. Limit Home Improvement Projects
If you live in a community that assesses taxes based on the value of your home, undertaking significant home improvement projects could actually end up costing you more in property taxes.
While that new kitchen or bathroom may add to the resale value of your home, it will also likely increase your assessment, which could result in a higher property tax bill.
Of course, there are some home improvement projects that may actually lower your property taxes. For example, if you install solar panels or energy-efficient windows, you may be eligible for a tax credit. So before you start any project, be sure to check with your local tax assessor to see if it will have an impact on your property taxes.
2. Keep Your Home in Good Repair
If your home is in good repair, it’s less likely to be devalued for tax purposes. So if you’re planning on making any improvements to your home, be sure to keep up with regular maintenance as well.
This includes things like painting, repairing any damage, and keeping your yard tidy. By taking good care of your home, you can help to ensure that it retains its value – and your property taxes stay low.
3. Research Neighboring Home Values
If you think your home is being taxed too high, one way to prove it is to research the sale prices of similar homes in your area.
If you can find houses that are comparable to yours in size and amenities but are being taxed at a lower rate, you may have grounds for an appeal.
To get started, you can search online for home sales in your area. You can also contact your local tax assessor’s office for more information.
4. Participate During Your Assessor’s Walkthrough
Most assessors will physically walk through your home at some point to get an idea of its value. This is usually done every few years, but it’s a good idea to be proactive and participate in the process.
If you’re home when the assessor comes by, offer to show them around. Point out any recent improvements you’ve made or any features that you think add to the value of your home.
The more information you can provide, the better chance you have of getting an accurate assessment – and a lower property tax bill.
5. Hire an Independent Appraiser
If you do not agree with your assessment, you have the right to hire an independent appraiser to assess the value of your home.
Of course, this will cost you money – but it could be worth it if it results in a lower property tax bill.
To find a qualified appraiser, contact your local professional organization or search online. Be sure to get multiple bids and check references before hiring anyone.
6. File an Appeal
If you think your home is being taxed too high, you can file an appeal with your local board of equalization. They will review your case and may lower your assessment, which would reduce your property taxes.
To file an appeal, you will need to fill out a form and submit it to the board. You may also need to provide supporting documentation, such as comparables of similar homes in your area.
It’s important to note that appeals can be time-consuming and may not always be successful. But if you think your property taxes are too high, it’s worth taking the time to file an appeal.
7. Check If You Qualify for Tax Exemptions
Certain homeowners may qualify for tax exemptions, which can lower their property taxes.
To see if you qualify for any exemptions, contact your local tax assessor’s office. They will be able to tell you what exemptions are available in your area.
8. Check Your Tax Bill For Inaccuracies
It may sound like a long shot, but sometimes property tax bills contain errors. If you think your bill is incorrect, it’s worth checking to see if there are any mistakes.
The first step is to look at your assessment and compare it to the assessments of similar properties in your area. If you think your assessment is too high, you can contact your local tax assessor’s office to discuss it. They may be able to lower your assessment and reduce your tax bill.
Of course, mistakes can happen on the other side, too. If you think you’ve been overcharged, you can also contact your tax assessor’s office. They may be able to refund the amount you were overcharged.
There are a number of ways to lower your property tax bill. By taking good care of your home, participating in the assessment process, and knowing your rights, you can save money on your property taxes.