Did you get a notification that your property taxes are going up? If so, you'll likely want to appeal this decision to lower your tax burden. This is a great job for a real estate tax attorney, who will appeal your property taxes with the following techniques.
Find Comparable Properties
The main strategy that is going to be used by your real estate tax attorney will be to find comparable properties that are worth less than what your home is valued at. This is done by searching through real estate listings for recently sold homes that are as close as possible to yours. For example, what your attorney will be looking for is homes that have similar layouts, construction materials, square footage, amount of rooms, and even lot sizes.
Since these homes have recently sold and have a price associated with them, it shows the actual market value of what your home could be worth. However, the key is finding the homes that reside in your area. The best comparable examples are going to be those that are close to your home. Ideally, they should even be in your same school district. The more similar properties you can find will only strengthen your case.
Sometimes having a lawyer file your initial challenge to your property taxes can help lower your taxes immediately. Your county knows that you're serious about lowering your taxes, and not doing so will only cause the case to be appealed.
Appeal The Case If Necessary
You'll then get a letter from your county responding to your property tax appeal. If you did a good job, they should agree with your appeal and lower your property taxes as a result. Unfortunately, it is possible that they don't lower your home's value enough or that they deny your appeal outright. If that happens, you'll need to appeal the decision.
Your county should have an appeals board that allows you to present your case as to why your home deserves to be estimated at a lower value to lower your taxes. The appeals board will have an odd number of members that will make a decision about your case. One thing to be aware of is that they have the power to lower your property taxes, but they could also increase them. If you present your evidence and they think your home is undervalued, appealing your property taxes may backfire and cause your taxes to be raised.
To learn more, contact a property tax attorney.