Looking to appeal your property tax assessment in the near future? We are here to help. Here at Heller & Consultants Tax Grievance Group, we have developed a system to help our clients save money on taxes. Best of all, you don’t have to pay a dime until we win your case. Below, we will break down 15 expert tips for getting your property tax assessment appealed successfully.
1. Know How Your Municipality’s Assessment Works
The assessor that works for the municipality does not have your best interest at heart when they are assessing the total value of your home. In all reality, they are only motivated by getting their job done as quickly as possible. Even if this means that they cut some corners and miss out on some important details in the assessment process. Of course, this can be very problematic for you as the property owner seeking the lowest property taxes possible.
2. Determine Deadlines for Grievance
Better known as “Grievance Day” you will need to have all of your grievance paperwork formally filed and turned in by this day to have a chance at getting your petition approved. Be sure to check your local municipality’s website to determine what day of the year your local Grievance Day is. Keep in mind that if you wait too long that you cannot appeal your tax assessment until the next calendar year.
3. Compare Local Properties
One of the best ways to gather evidence that your property assessment was inaccurately done by the municipality is to look at some of the similar homes you have in your area. To be clear, it’s important to compare similar properties in many different areas such as the total number of rooms, the size of the property, remodeling work that has been done, amenities, and so on. If you find similar homes in your locality with lower values and you may already have a case.
4. Do a Private Appraisal
If you have the extra money to spend on a private appraisal service, this will probably be enough evidence for you to get started with your petition. In many cases, a private appraisal will be a lot more thorough since you are privately paying them to do a good job. One of the only downsides to this idea is that you might end up spending more money than you could end up saving that year on your taxes. Especially if you don’t get your appeal approved.
5. Consider the Recent Purchase Price
Did you recently purchase the home, or have data from previous purchases? This is generally really good evidence that you have a case to appeal your home’s value assessment. The main idea here is that you need to demonstrate that the property was purchased without the seller being under duress. If the seller can be proven to have been under duress, your evidence here will hold a lot less ground.
6. Look at Online Value Estimates
There are various online property value estimators. Zillow is one of the various options that you can use for getting an online value estimate. Although sources like these can definitely help you to appeal your home’s value assessment, these are usually best paired with other forms of evidence. In other words, don’t use online value estimates as your only piece of evidence if you want to have the best chance possible for winning your case.
7. Compile Data the Assessor May Not Have Had
There are literally hundreds of variables that can come into play when properly determining your property’s value. From small details such as the total number of rooms and the overall property size to smaller details such as recent home renovations, try to find data that the municipality assessor either skipped, missed, or didn’t even have access to. These are a great starting point for helping you get your petition approved.
8. Check for Errors in the Municipality Assessment
You wouldn’t be trying to appeal your property value assessment if you weren’t convinced that there was at least one error that will eventually force you to pay higher property tax levels. Therefore, compile each of the errors that you notice and formally list them. This way, you can easily reference this information later on when it comes time to formally appeal your property value assessment with your local municipality.
9. Have a Logical Case for Your Grievance
You shouldn’t depend on your ability to fool people into giving you an appeal for your property tax assessment. This is a recipe for complete disaster. Municipality officials are generally very smart and will pay closer attention to details during a tax grievance petition process. This is why you need to focus mostly on developing a logical case for your grievance that is based on facts and errors committed by the municipality assessor instead.
10. Remember that This is a Common Thing to Do
Many people, for whatever reason, start to feel bad about appealing their property tax assessment. They might see this as potentially unethical, morally wrong, and so on. In reality, doing this is a completely common and 100% legal thing to do. Therefore, you are simply upholding your rights as an American citizen and protecting yourself from potentially paying more than your fair share of property taxes.
11. Remember that You Are Challenging the Assessment, Not the Taxes
Clearly, your end goal of getting a property value assessment appealed is so that you can lessen the burden of property taxes. However, it’s important to keep in mind that you are not ever going to actually challenge your total amount of property taxes. Instead, what you will be challenging is the assessment made by the municipality’s assessor. This is the data that you will need to be appealed if you hope to lower your property taxes.
12. Know Your Municipality’s Appeal Requirements
Typically, you will simply need to fill out a couple of forms and formally submit a letter of petition in order to kick-start the process for getting your appeal handled. However, this process can be different depending on which municipality you live in. Be sure to check with your local authorities to ensure that you know all the requirements for properly getting your appeal put into the system.
13. Complete Your Paperwork Properly
As you probably know, handling government paperwork can be a bit of a hassle. There can be lots of picky information that you need to include, details that you need to look up, and so on. However, it is important that you give this process the respect it deserves. Make sure you input all the correct information that you gathered during your research stage in order to
14. Formally Petition Your Property Assessment
Once you have all of your facts straight, the paperwork completed, and know the process for doing your petition, all you need to do now is go through the steps. Clearly, this is a process that you can do on your own. Once you formally submit your petition, simply wait for Grievance Day to pass. If successful, your adjusted value will be posted on your municipality’s Assessment Roll promptly.
15. Get Professional Assistance for Property Tax Grievance
Here at Heller & Consultants Tax Grievance Group, we specialize in helping our clients get their property assessment petitions approved in a timely and affordable manner in the Long Island area. We are so confident in our service that you won’t need to pay anything until your property tax grievance is approved. Give us a call today for a free consultation.