How To Lower Property Taxes On Your Home?
Property taxes can become quite the burden, particularly if you have invested in a number of different properties. Fortunately, while you are not likely to eliminate property taxes completely, there are some steps you can take to help keep your taxes at a minimum.
Make Sure Your Tax Card is Correct
Incorrect information on your tax card can result in paying higher taxes than necessary. Therefore, it is a good idea to request a copy of your property tax cards from the local assessor’s office so you can review it for errors. The card will include information such as the size of your lot, the dimensions of the rooms in the home and the types of features insurance. There may also be a section noting the improvements that have been made. If you do find errors, bring them to the attention of the tax assessor so they can be corrected or so your property can be reevaluated.
Accompany the Tax Assessor
If your property does need to be reevaluated, it is a good idea to walk the property with the assessor so you can point out the issues with the home. Otherwise, the assessor may only notice the features that will increase your tax burden without noticing those features that will help to reduce it. If you have appliances that are out of date, cracks in the ceiling or other issues that need to be addressed, point these out in order to help reduce your overall tax burden.
Avoid Making Improvements
It is important to note that structural changes to your property will increase your tax burden. Therefore, you should avoid the temptation to make improvements unless you are ready to pay the higher taxes that come along with it. Adding permanent features, such as a large shed, a deck or a pool will almost certainly result in higher taxes. If you absolutely have your heart set on making improvements, contact the local building and tax departments to find out how much it will increase your tax burden beforehand.
Keep in Line with the Neighbors
While there is a strict set of guidelines that assessors use when determining the value of a property, there is also a great deal of subjectivity involved. The more attractive your home appears from the road, the higher your taxes are likely to be. Similarly, your home will likely be taxed more if it looks more attractive than the other homes in your neighborhood.
To get a better idea of how your home compares to the homes of your neighbors, you can actually visit the local town hall to gather information about their assessments, too. By reviewing comparable homes, you may find some discrepancies that can be used to lower your tax burden. If your home is being taxed at a higher rate than comparable properties in the area, bring it to the attention of the assessor to see if you can get your taxes lowered.