Does it seem like your property taxes are constantly increasing? While this can be a good thing if you're looking to sell (as higher property taxes are a sign of increasing home values), an ever-increasing tax bill can be a real burden if you have no plans to move in the near future. The good news, however, is that your property tax assessment is not completely out of your hands. In fact, there are a few things you can do that have the potential to reduce your next property tax bill and save you some money.
Start With a Copy of Your Property Tax Card
You'll need to begin with an understanding of how your property is currently being assessed. You can request a copy of your property's tax card at your city assessor's office. On this card, you'll see detailed information about your property, including its overall size, the number of bedrooms/bathrooms, and other notable details. If there are any discrepancies on this card, be sure to let the assessor's office know right away. For example, if your home is listed as being 2,500 square feet but your home is actually just 2,000 square feet, this is a major error that could have an effect on your taxes.
Request Copies of Nearby Home Assessments
Just as you can request copies of your home's tax card, assessment records from other homes are also available to the public at your assessor's office. Specifically, you'll want to look at assessments for homes that are similar to your own. If you notice that a very similar home to yours has been assessed at just $200,000 while your home's assessment is $225,000, this is worth bringing to the attention of the assessor.
Take Advantage of Property Tax Exemptions
Did you know that there are property tax exemptions available that can lower or eliminate your tax bill altogether? While these programs can vary greatly depending on where you live, some areas offer property tax exemptions to senior citizens, veterans, and people with disabilities. The best to find out if you're eligible for an exemption is to speak with an experienced property tax consultant. He or she will also be able to walk you through the process of filing a tax assessment appeal if you believe that your current property taxes are too high. From there, you may be able to lower your tax bill and save yourself a nice chunk of change.
To learn more, contact a property tax consultant.
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