Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Successfully Reduced Property Taxes

In December, 2008, we had received a notice that our property assessment had increased 3% from the 2005 assessment. Given the recent crash of the housing market, I decided to contest the assessed value of our home and lower our property tax. Based on my appraisal, I estimated our home had actually fallen 16.4% in value since 2005.

Last month, we received great news from the county accepting our estimate of our home value, without attending the usual hearing. Thus, the assessed value of our home will be lowered by 16.4% and the property tax will be lowered by the same percentage also.

Since I was expecting some debate on the value, I called the county administrator to confirm the news. They explained that the data I had submitted provided sufficient support for the revised value requested. Based on the large volume of appeals submitted, the county decided to quickly accept all appeals with adequate supporting data, and only have a formal hearing for those where little or no supporting evidence was offered.

For more details on the process I followed, see Lowering our Property Tax - Doing it myself. Based on subsequent conversations with the county appraisers, I did make one substantial change to the process outlined in February, 2008. Instead of doing one comparison to the average of several home sales, I did three different comparisons to sales of three individual homes that were most similar to our house.

For more on Ideas You Can Use, check back every Tuesday for a new segment.

This is not financial or real estate advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

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