Homeownership comes with a number of secondary responsibilities. Among them is the obligation to pay property tax. After establishing the taxable value for your property, the county where you own property will then apply the property tax and send you an annual bill. Every six years, the state will reappraise your home to keep its value updated.
Occasionally, you may need to appeal a property tax decision, such as a significant increase in the assessed value of your home or a refusal to grant you the homestead exemption. Appealing property tax matters can help you keep your tax obligations reasonable. What kind of mistakes might occur that could affect your chances of success?
Failing to gather documentation to support your claim
Does the value assessed for your home seem inappropriate given the value for your neighbor’s? Has the tax authority wrongfully refused to apply the homestead property tax exemption?
Regardless of what you intend to appeal, you can’t just show up and make a verbal claim. You will need financial records, building permits, photographs of the property or even professional testimony and reports.
Trying to handle this crucial matter without help
Many people struggle to speak well in public, and even those who are quite articulate can’t always respond on the fly in a stressful personal situation. The taxes on your property can feel very personal, so your emotions could overpower your rational brain during the hearing.
Having a lawyer represent you conveys your seriousness about the matter and ensures that the person making your case will be professional and calm. It will also have experience handling these sorts of administrative matters that can seem complicated or confusing to the average homeowner.
Trying to lower your property value without an appraisal
An attorney isn’t the only professional whose help you will likely need during this process. If you intend to convince state appraisers that they made a mistake when assessing a specific value to your property, you will need a professional’s opinion to validate your claim.
Paying for an appraiser will mean money out of pocket, but you could recoup that investment many times over if you successfully appeal the assessed value for your property and lower your taxes.
Knowing your rights as a property owner dealing with a property tax dispute will potentially lead to a better resolution.