Estate Planning Options
Reducing Your Property Tax Bill
estate tax assessments are made erroneously or were made prior to the recent
decline in real estate values, and many homeowners and
business owners who challenge their real
estate tax assessments do succeed in reducing their property taxes.
tax bills are generated by taking the assessed value of a property and multiplying that
value by the tax rate for the area where the property is located. Taxpayers that can
demonstrate that the assessed value on a given property is too high can lower the tax bill
for that property.
that can demonstrate that the assessed value on a given property is too
high can lower their tax bill.
Detailed below are six simple, yet effective actions that taxpayers can take in order
to make a successful argument to lower the assessed value on a given property.
- Review the current assessment from the county assessor's office and look for obvious
errors with regard to the size, description, and/or condition of the property in question.
Be certain that there is no personal property included in the assessment.
- Compare the assessed value of the property in question with similar properties in the
same neighborhood and look for discrepancies. These assessments are public information and
are available at the county assessor's office.
- Check recent sales prices of homes or
buildings in the same neighborhood that are similar to the
property in question. These prices are also public information and can be obtained from a
- Obtain a copy of the most current appraisal for the property in question and/or have a
new appraisal performed.
- List factors that could decrease the value of a given property at the point of sale.
Factors that could lower a property's value include an unusual floor-plan, a busy street,
and/or a recently constructed shopping complex close to the property.
- Be sure to take full advantage of special exemptions. Some states permit reductions in
property taxes for veterans and/or senior citizens. Certain states also permit reductions
in property taxes for historic buildings and/or buildings that have installed special
energy conservation systems.
Even if it is not possible to get the taxes for a specific property reduced this year,
taxpayers should keep a watchful eye out for future increases.
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