Pros & Cons of Property Tax Appeals

Written by  //  May 11, 2013  //  Property Taxes  //  Comments Off

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Due to plummeting home prices, many people are paying more property taxes than they should. Your local assessor’s office is happy to keep collecting taxes based on the prior assessed value of your home. In many cases, the only way to get an adjustment is by filing an appeal. In the meantime, you may have to consider a property tax loan to tide you over until your appeal is processed. Learn the pros and cons of property tax appeals below.

Pros of Property Tax Appeals

A few of the top benefits of property tax appeals include:

Your property tax bill could considerably drop, which will make your monthly mortgage payment go down too. After buying a new home, your monthly payment could end up being less than you thought. When combined with tax credits for first time home buyers, this can add up to be a lot of money.

The process varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but getting started is usually as simple as sending a letter. If your appeal is denied, you can usually appeal again. You should be able to appeal your property taxes as many times as you’d like.

Cons of Property Tax Appeals

If appealing property taxes was easy, everyone would do it. A few of the cons of property tax appeals include:

It may be too late to appeal them this year. In most places, the deadline occurs in the spring. If the deadline has passed, you’ll have to wait. It may also be too early to appeal them this year. Don’t be surprised if you get the runaround. Familiarize yourself with the property tax financing process in case you’re not successful this year.

You will have a tight deadline. After your annual tax assessment letter arrives, you will have a short window of time to appeal the assessment. If you wait until then to gather your evidence, you may not have enough time.

You have to provide evidence. One way to do so is by having an appraisal done, but that costs a lot of money. Another option is to find recent sale prices of comparable homes in the area. This can be tricky, though, and it’s best to have a real estate agent do it for you.

You might not end up saving anything. After paying for appraisals and putting in all that time and effort, it could be a wash. You might even end up spending more than you ultimately save. There’s no easy way to determine how it will all pan out, though, so you have to be willing to roll the dice.

One thing’s for sure: You can’t avoid property taxes. If your bill is too high and you’re sure your property is over-assessed, filing an appeal may be the best option. Weigh the pros and cons carefully before making your move. See what kind of evidence you can gather. Are recent comparable sales significantly lower? Was the appraisal a lot lower than the assessed value? If the evidence isn’t very striking, your efforts will probably be in vain. Decide whether or not it’s worth your time to pursue the matter and go from there.

Shelly Duell is a blogger on behalf of RETax Funding. Shelly Duell has been writing ever since she was old enough to staple together folded blank pages to create a handmade book, and officially blogging for four years. RETax is part of the largest leading property tax company in Texas that specializes in financing delinquent property taxes. You can learn more about RETax Funding and property tax financing by going to their website at: http://www.retaxfunding.com/tx-property-tax-loan-finance

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