How to Deal with High Tax Rates
 

Frustrated With Property Tax? Know How to Deal with High Tax Rates

01-Sep-2016
 

The fact is that home prices are going down, and at the same time, property taxes are going up. We all wish for roads to be more accessible  and our children to get a better education, but no one wants to pay more taxes than needed, specifically when our neighbours are paying less for a property similar to us. But the good news is that there are ways to efficiently deal with the situation. Thinking how? Let me help you. Keep reading to learn few simple tricks that can aid homeowners to be at ease when it’s time to pay the taxes.

Limit Curb Appeal

When it comes to the actual evaluation process, tax assessors should follow a strict set of guidelines. Conversely, the assessment contains a definite amount of subjectivity. That means more attractive and elegant homes often receive a higher assessed value than homes that are less appealing. Remember, during the evaluation process, your dwelling is fundamentally compared to your neighbour’s home. If possible, don’t make any improvements or alterations to the house such as an addition of counter tops, basement finishing, kitchen extension, etc.until the evaluation is finished.

Check Out Similar Homes

This doesn’t mean that you should interview your neighbours. Property tax bills are public info and can be accessed online in many jurisdictions. Make sure you compare the property with others in the same tax classification which cover similar age and size. This helps you to know how your local government determines the taxes to be paid towards the home property. Some jurisdiction takes into account 100% of market value and others only a fractional amount i.e. 60%. So, check each home for assessments and plan accordingly when it’s time to pay the taxes.

Be Good with the Assessor

Every house owner might think that assessors are shadowy figures trying to make a dent in their account to generate more money in the form of taxes. But that’s wrong. They do what they have to. Keep in mind that inflating the property values too high doesn’t benefit anyone. However, it overvalues the market. Make sure, you talk nicely with the assessor during an interaction with them. A lot of assessments are done without actually checking the property, but when they request a walkthrough, be there and explain everything lucidly.

Check the Deadline

There are no set dates for assessments to take place, it occurs unexpectedly. But the onus is on you to make it hassle free by determining when yours will be. By doing this, it will be much easier to lodge petitions or catch errors, if any, early on. We agree that it is hard to balance the desire for an elegant property with the desire to pay as little property tax as possible. But following few things and holding up on improvements till your house is due to be evaluated can help you lower the amount to be paid towards property taxes.    

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