Little known ways to reduce property taxes

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By: tiarajoseph11
on 25th Feb,2016

Learn the unknown but effective ways to reduce property taxes.

Most of the homeowners will agree to the fact that home-owning is very expensive. Planned or unplanned, owning a home includes some heavy expenses. One of them is the cost of annual property tax bill. We know, we have to pay it every year but, may not realize that we can pay it quite less than expected. The reason for this confusion is because, many homeowners don’t know how property taxes are usually calculated. The homeowners are only aware of the fact that tax money is for local government fund according to the value of their home. So, people must know that there are proper methods to lower your property taxes. Here are some of those forgotten ways:

Step 1 – You must be aware of the rules

Local governments normally send assessment notices to respective owners initially at the beginning of the year. As soon as you get one, start checking the deadline for challenging the value. You might get a couple of weeks, but you must know how your local government assesses the residual properties.

Read more: Homeownership: Know all the expenses that are obvious

Step 2 - Look for tax breaks

After getting your property tax bill, verify your tax rate, assessment value and payment dates, and make sure you must grab the tax breaks that you’re entitled.

Few states allow persons who live in the property or the owner for shielding a part of the property's value from tax. You may also get the special tax benefits if you are a senior citizen, veteran or disabled person. Of Course the tax benefits will be calculated based on your earning.

Step 3 – Verify the record properly

Verify properly the record card of your property. You may find that record card from your assessor’s office or on its website. If you find any error showing wrong numbers regarding any of your bedroom or anything else, the assessor must rectify the problem as soon as possible, and lower the assessed value and the amount of your tax bill.

Read more: Stop overpaying and cut your taxes

Step 4 – Research about your neighbors tax benefits

The information many of the homeowners don’t know is that the details about their neighbor’s tax assessments is also available to them for checking.

It is important to compare the tax assessment of homes in your neighborhood area to know the general statistics about your town's evaluation details. You may find several discrepancies that would reduce your taxes. For example, let's say that you have a 6 bedroom property with a two-car garage, which was assessed at $450,000. Your neighbor also has the same particulars regarding this property, but your neighbor's home was valued at $435,000.

So, you need to find out the mistake or the error - unless your property has some other disputes that lower the tax benefits. Keep these things in mind, and find the error. After that, bring it to the assessor's attention quickly and make him reassess the property if necessary.

Step 5 - Give company to the assessor while evaluation

Many people allow the tax assessor alone to evaluate their property totally unguided. This might be a grave mistake. Some assessors will notice the positive or the good points about the property. He may like the new staircase or the fireplace or the garden. They sometimes forget to see some facts that the appliances in the house are out of date, and that the basement need a major renovation work due to cracked marbles, which need replacing.

To prevent this, make sure to accompany the assessor to notify him the positive points along with the negative point or the deficiencies. This will ensure that your home will be valued at the fairest numbers by the assessors.

Step 6 - File a case

If you find that your tax assessment is way higher than it should be, you may have reasonable grounds for filing a case. Maybe your property has a damaged flooring or damp basement that doesn’t consider you to set up a garden. The assessment must be depending upon the market value of your property; if your property has disputes that would turn off potential buyers. You must keep calm and go with the flow.

Step 7 - Don’t add too many modifications

Many first-time buyers or homeowners don’t understand that their property tax valuation is directly related to the value of the home. As much modification you add in your property, the value will definitely go to a certain level. The property tax value will increase, if you add some of these additions:

  • A new, big, well-decorated bedroom or living room.
  • A deck or porch.
  • A pool for swimming

Any new additional construction may add several dollars to the amount of your property taxes.

Being a smart consumer, it's your duty to know every property tax deduction that you're eligible for. After all, it's your property for which you are paying the taxes. So, don't let the assessor be your boss. Verify each and every point, make sure they don't overvalue your home and grab your hard earned money.

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