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Homeowners: Did you use these tricks to lower your property tax bill?

February 4, 2016

Owning a home is always expensive. After dealing with the mortgage, you need to be prepared for many other expenses like structural changes, remodeling, pains, and so on. Above all, you have to pay annual property taxes.

Sometimes, tax increase significantly, which is no doubt very burdensome for homeowners. However, there must be a solution for every problem. And this is not an exception. You can appeal to lower your annual property tax. These days, many homeowners challenge their assessment and win lower tax bill for their property. So, why don’t you try to reduce the amount this year?

There are many tricks you can use to lower your property tax. To know in details, you must read the entire article carefully.

1. Avoid making structural changes to your property

Don’t make structural changes like adding a large shed, a deck, or building a garage. Because these changes to your property will increase the tax. If you’re not able to avoid these type of circumstances, then you must research how much cost will be increased by the addition. Contact your local tax office to know about terms and condition regarding this matter. You may get a rough estimate from the tax department.

2. Coordinate with the tax assessor

Make sure you stay at home on the visiting day of the tax assessor. If you allow the tax assessor to wander the home unguided, he will only point out the new things you installed and overlook the other outdated and unpolished things that need reconstruction. If you coordinate with the tax assessor, then you may help him to point out those deficiencies that need replacing. Thus, you’ll be able to reduce your tax.

3. Remodeling home? No- no

There are many tricks to reduce your property taxes. One of the trickier ones is making the property less attractive. Yes, it is true that when the tax assessor come to your home and discover a brand new countertop or, new 3D floors in your house, then your property tax will be higher than your neighbor who has the same house from past few years. So, it is advisable to not remodeling the property just before tax season. Remember, you’ll get the best remodeling value when you resell your house, not from the tax evaluation.

4. Review the property tax card

You must request to receive a copy of the property tax card from your local assessor’s office. Why do you need to review the property tax card? The answer is simple. To find any mistake and to note down the discrepancies. You may not be aware that identifying discrepancies in a property tax card and raising the issue can help you to reduce the tax bill. The assessor will either investigate the mistakes for correction or re-evaluate the tax bill. This way, you can reduce the tax amount.

5. Allow the tax assessor to wander your home

Remember, not giving permission to the tax assessor to access the whole area of  the home can cost you dearly. The tax assessor will automatically assume that there are many highest assessed items in the house. This leads to higher property tax bill. So, you must allow the tax assessor into your house to evaluate the whole house.

Take your State’s property tax break

Some state provides a property tax break from senior aged people. So, if you’re around 60, then check whether your State provides a property tax break based on age or not. However, the age varies from state to state. Go online to check the criteria for State’s property tax relief. Local Government provides a special property tax deduction for veterans, low earner income households, and disabled persons as well.

6. Take a close look at your neighbor’s property

As I’ve mentioned before that finding discrepancies can lower your property taxes. So, you must check out at similar properties to build up a case for lowering your property tax bill. Make sure the properties are comparable size and value.

7. Go online

You can now build your case for lowering property tax bill online. This is the best way to filter the results of your searches and compare the value as well.

Final thoughts

Paying property tax is a part of owning a home. So, you must take it positively and work hard to reduce the amount as much as possible. Don’t think that your tax bill is unchangeable. With a little hard work you can reduce the bill significantly. Research a lot to know how to point out discrepancies, your State’s laws, a process of appealing, etc. Once you fight back, you must be a winner.

Did you ever appeal for lowering your property taxes? What tricks did you use to make it happen? Don’t forget to share your experience in the comments below.

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Amy Nickson
Contributed by personal finance writer and blogger Amy Nickson

Amy Nickson is a web enthusiast. She shares her expertise through her crisp and well-researched articles based on money management, money saving ideas and so on. You can follow her blog Working Moms Word where she shared her expertise on personal finance field. She is also associated with and contribute articles.