April 17th, 2018 7:08 AM by Jackie A. Graves, President
If you're a homeowner, you probably already know that recent tax
legislation means you can now deduct only up to $10,000 worth of property taxes
from your federal tax bill. And if you live in a high-tax state—New Jersey, Illinois, and Texas, we're looking
at you—that probably feels like a drop in the bucket.
it's understandable if you're feeling a little extra burn as you pull out your
checkbook this tax season. But what can you do besides complain? (Or move?)
Sadly, there's no "get out of paying property tax"
loophole—it's an ongoing burden that homeowners everywhere must take on. But
there is a
chance you can shrink the amount of taxes you owe on your home. Here's how.
"game" is the wrong word. There's absolutely nothing fun about it!
But the property tax system is somewhat labyrinthine and you do need to know
the rules. And the most important one is that the amount you pay in taxes
depends on the value of your property.
property owner’s chances of successfully appealing his or her property taxes
depends upon whether the tax assessment is fair and accurate," says Anthony
F. DellaPelle, a property tax attorney in Morristown, NJ.
other words, the assessment of your home should reflect its fair market value.
If those two figures don't line up, you should be able to reduce the
assessment—and pay less.
you're lucky, your tax assessor will agree to a reduction without requiring you
to file a tax appeal, DellaPelle says.
there's still a lot you'll need to do to back up your claim.
you can contest your property tax assessment, you have to know what it is,
right? Some communities may allow you to access this information online.
Otherwise, you'll have to get it from your tax assessor’s office.
you have the information in hand, verify the following:
much is their property
tax? It really is your business.
win an appeal, you want proof that your neighbors who live in a
house comparable to yours pay less in taxes than you do. Search here for homes in your neighborhood that
have recently sold, or contact a real estate agent and ask for comps to be
pulled. The real estate agent may be kind enough to do it without the promise
of a sale. You can also be nosy and just ask your neighbors.
a word of caution: “Be sure you’re comparing apples to apples as reasonably as
possible,” Dowler says.
tax assessor will be skeptical if you argue that your brand-new,
six-bedroom house should be taxed the same amount as a 100-year-old,
four-bedroom home down the street. And be aware that any improvements
you've made to your home (or plan to make) could send your tax bill right back
sure where to start to uncover all this info? Think about hiring a
licensed real estate appraiser or property tax appeal service. These
pros can put together an official report that includes an expert opinion of
your property value.
keep this in mind: If your appeal proceeds to court, your appraiser will likely
be required to testify, DellaPelle says. And the appraisal report may not be
considered legit unless the appraiser's available to testify, so choose someone
local that you trust.
say that you do find something incorrect on your assessment—maybe your home’s
listed as 40,000 square feet instead of 4,000. You can’t just email your tax
assessor’s office and demand it be corrected.
each state has different tax appeal procedures, appeals usually have an annual
deadline that is strictly enforced,” DellaPelle says. Miss that deadline,
and you’ll have to wait until the following year to appeal. (And keep paying
your tax bill until then.)
also need to know to whom to appeal. Your
tax board could be local, county, or regional. Some states even have a special
tax court, DellaPelle says.
because you like DIY projects doesn’t mean you’re qualified to tackle this one.
tax appeals have special rules and procedures that vary from state to state,”
cautions DellaPelle. “The consequences of failing to adhere to them can be
since there are several ways your appeal can get thrown out (and lots of heady
math involved), a tax attorney can help you figure out whether you have a
case—and help you win it.
on where you live, certain laws can raise or lower your taxes.
instance, in parts of Maine tapping into solar power could raise your
taxes. Some states such as Illinois offer property tax exemptions and
deferrals to seniors and people with disabilities. Other states are even considering creating loopholes to
ease the pain of the new tax legislation.
even if there isn't a law that can help you, chances are good you can find
other people also questioning their property taxes.
this for inspiration? When 70,000 parcels in Georgia's Muscogee County were
reassessed last summer, some property taxes jumped as much as 1,000%. A local
homeowners association quickly mobilized—filed a petition, asked the state to
intervene, and even threatened a class-action lawsuit. A
week later, residents were given the option to pay their taxes at
the 2016 rate or at 85% of the new rate if things weren't resolved by the end
of the year.
you're displeased by your tax bill, there's a good chance your neighbors are,
too. Start by talking with them, and see how low you can go.
To view the original article click here Apply to
Buy a Home Apply to