Challenging your Property Taxes

Daniel Leitman loves his home, but knows it's not worth what it once was. So he challenged his property taxes and got a big reward.
Daniel says, "We received a very healthy reduction in taxes, which is a little bit over 20 to 25%."
Consumer Reports' Tobie Stanger says to dispute your property taxes, you have to establish that the town's assessment of your home is too high.
Tobie Stanger says, "So there's a couple of ways you can make your case: You can either show that your home isn't as big or as nice as what the assessment states, or you can show that your home's value isn't in line with comparable properties."
Your tax office is your first stop to see how homes are assessed. Then you will know what to focus on.
In Daniel's case, he hired an appraiser who based his report on recent sales of similar homes.
Stanger adds, "In Daniel's case, he hired an appraiser who based his report on recent sales of similar homes.
Also check that the records on your house - like the number of baths and bedrooms - is correct. If not, the assessor may have your property valued too high.
Stanger says, "A good way to tell if it's worth challenging your property taxes is if your home's value has gone down recently by at least 10%."
Daniel picked an appraiser familiar with the real-estate market who helped him make a good case.
Daniel says, "A savings is a savings. If you can save any amount of money on your taxes, why not go for it?"
If you're considering a tax challenge, Consumer Reports says it's important to continue to pay your taxes in full until your case is decided. And if you're considering hiring an attorney to take the matter to court, you'll want to balance that cost against any possible savings.


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