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Property taxes should be uniform and fair. If you are feeling that your land tax assessment is just too high, then you’ll dispute it. Although the precise dispute process will vary from county to county, you’ll begin by contacting the assessment office. Then you’ll typically present your case ultimately to an appeals board .
Preparing to Dispute the Assessment
Receive your bill . Once you receive the bill within the mail, you ought to read it as soon as possible. The appeals process may have deadlines, therefore the sooner you’ll check your bill the higher .
- The window of your time during which to appeal are often short. In Maryland, you simply have 45 days from receiving the bill to appeal.
- Find prior bills in order that you’ll compare the quantity of the assessment. If the municipality has reclassified your land or valued it differently, then make note of this fact.
Meeting with the assessor
Ask questions. you ought to have the assessor explain how he or she determined the quantity of tax. you ought to have the assessor show you your record and explain how the calculation was made.
- confirm that the assessor has accurate information about the property’s size, age, condition, number of bathrooms, and other physical characteristics. If the assessor’s information is inaccurate, ask the assessor what documentation you’ll need.
- for instance , the assessor may are confused and assessed you for an addition that you simply didn’t build. Ask the assessor if he or she is going to begin to your property to require a glance or if you ought to bring photographs to point out .
Bringing an Appeal
believe meeting with an attorney. due to how complex it are often to vary an assessor’s mind, you ought to give some thought to meeting with an experienced tax attorney. He or she will assess your situation and offer advice on the way to bring a robust appeal.
- An attorney also can advise you whether or not it’s in your best interest to bring an appeal. If you appeal, your property taxes could increase. you would like to make certain any error made wasn’t made in your favor. If it was, then your bill could rise once the assessor fixes the error.
- you’ll often find a professional attorney by visiting your state’s bar association, which should run a referral program. to seek out your state bar’s association, use the American Bar Association’s program available at its website.
- For recommendations on the way to find a professional attorney, see Select a land tax Attorney.
Check the info
Make sure the knowledge about your house is correct. is that the number of bathrooms accurate? Number of fireplaces? How about the dimensions of the lot? There’s an enormous difference between “0.3 acres” and “3.0 acres.” If any facts are wrong, then you’ll have a fast and straightforward challenge on your hands.
Get the “Comps”
Ask a REALTOR® to seek out three to 5 comparable properties — comps in land jargon — that have sold recently. Alternatively, check an internet site like realtor.com to seek out approximate values of comparable properties that are very almost like your own in terms of size, style, condition, and site . If you’re willing to distribute between $350 and $600, you’ll hire an appraiser to offer you knowledgeable opinion of your home’s value.
Once you identify comps, check the assessments on those properties. Most local governments maintain public databases. If yours doesn’t, seek help from a true realtor or ask neighbors to share tax information. If the assessments on your comps are lower, you’ll argue yours is just too high.
Even if the assessments are similar, if you’ll show that the comparable properties are superior to yours, you’ll have a case for relief supported equity. Maybe your neighbor built an addition while you were still struggling to wash up storm damage. therein case, the properties are not any longer comparable.
Present Your Case
Armed together with your research, call your local assessor’s office. Most assessors are willing to debate your assessment informally by phone. If not, or if you aren’t satisfied with the reason , request a proper review.
Pay attention to deadlines and procedures. There’s probably a form to fill out and specific instructions for supporting evidence. The length of the review process depends on your municipality, but be prepared to attend a couple of months (or sometimes even longer) for a final judgment . Expect to receive a choice in writing.
Appeal If You Don’t just like the Review
If the review is unsuccessful, you’ll usually appeal the choice to an independent board, with or without the assistance of a lawyer. you’ll need to pay a modest filing fee, perhaps $10 to $25. If you finish up before an appeals board, your challenge could stretch as long as a year, especially in large jurisdictions that have a high number of appeals.
There are a couple of things to stay in mind as you weigh an appeal.
- The appeals board can only lower your land assessment, not the speed at which you’re taxed.
- There’s an opportunity , albeit slight, that your assessment might be raised, thus increasing your property taxes.
- a discount in your assessment right before you set your house on the market could hurt the sale price.