The sad fact is that the majority of property owners suffer from overly high property tax bills. How to make a successful property tax protest therefore is an important concept for property owners to understand, and implement.
Best of all, it is actually very easy to do, and often successful. Since the rewards can be hundreds or thousands of dollars saved each year, learning how to make a property tax appeal makes even more sense.
To understand how to make a successful property tax protest you must first understand that by law, your property taxes should be assessed based on the value of the property.
Therefore your first step is to determine what you believe to be a fair value for your property. This is not what the property tax assessor says it is, or what your friends or neighbors say it is. Rather it is the value of your property as measured in some very specific ways.
The Importance of Market Value
For most homeowners, the easiest way to demonstrate the value of their property is to determine its market value. This is simply the value of the property that the marketplace is willing to pay for it.
The simplest way to determine a property’s market value is to find properties that are very similar to your own, that have recently sold.
Sources of this kind of property sales information include local realtors, the property tax assessing office in your municipality, and of course online sources of property sales.
Since the properties you find as examples will usually not be exactly identical to your own property, you need to make adjustments to their sales prices to reflect what the property would have sold for if it was more like your own property.
For example, if a very similar home to your sold for $300,000, but had one more bedroom than your home, you would need to account for this difference. Perhaps the extra bedroom added $20,000 to the property’s sales value. Therefore when you consider this sale, you would subtract $20,000 from its sales price.
This process of adjustment will make your property tax appeal more accurate. Ultimately the property tax help or improvement to your tax situation that results will be worth the effort.
The process of how to make a successful property tax protest is easier than most people think. Don’t continue to be a victim of overly zealous tax authorities who are often all too happy to keep your taxes artificially high. By following the simple advice in a good property tax appeals guide you can soon be enjoying permanently lower property taxes.
Options if Your Protest Fails
Each state has their own programs for helping people with property tax debt. There are even companies who can provide loans to help you pay your taxes. In Texas property tax loans can be applied for and granted in a short period of time. This may be a great option for those who want to keep the government off their back.