Good news/Bad News: The good news is that if you have been a homeowner for at least several years, you likely have seen your home’s value skyrocket. The bad news is that you may have also seen your property taxes rise as well. In most cases, an increase in tax assessment should not come as a surprise. However, there are instances where a homeowner may feel that his/her property tax assessment is higher than it should be. Below we discuss some steps that you may consider taking if you feel that your property tax assessment is higher than it should be.
Steps to take to appeal
- Educate yourself on the process: Local tax authorities may handle property tax appeals differently. In some instances, you may only have a few weeks to contest a tax assessment. In addition, it is important to understand how a property is assessed. In some cases, only a percentage of the assessed value is used to calculate the tax.
- Confirm that your property information is accurate: It is quite possible that the reason for your high tax assessment is due to an error. This can be fairly easy to confirm by visiting your local county’s property appraiser website. Ultimately, this could result in a lower tax bill without having to file an appeal.
- Confirm that you are receiving your deserved tax breaks: Tax deductions offered by your state may not be automatically applied. In Florida, an example of this is the Homestead Exemption for your primary residence.
- Look up comparable properties in your neighborhood: Perhaps the easiest way to confirm whether or not your valuation is incorrect is to search the tax records for comparable properties in your neighborhood. In doing this, you will want to focus on properties with similar square footage, number of bedrooms, number of bedrooms, and other features.
- Hire a professional: Once you have done your preliminary research and determined that you may have an unjust valuation, you may want to hire a real estate appraiser. As a best practice, be sure to hire an appraiser with a national certification from the American Society of Appraisers or the Appraisal Institute.
If your appeal is successful, you may likely realize some savings until the next time that your property’s value is assessed. In addition to the recommendations listed above, it is always a wise idea to consult your real estate agent to obtain their professional opinion on the valuation of your home. As always, homeowners should stay informed of their local market at all times. This is not only important for potentially appealing any tax assessment, but will also promote good decision making when the time to sell your home arrives.
Are you looking for real estate assistance in the South Florida market? We can help. Contact one of the Live South Florida Realty, Inc. team members today! Also, don’t forget to download the free Florida Home Search app.