How can I appeal my property tax assessment?
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The amount you pay in property taxes depends on the property valuation calculated for your home by your local property tax assessor. If your home is overassessed - or given an appraised value that is higher then the actual fair market value of the property - then you are paying more in property taxes then you should be. All jurisdictions provide a process through which you can appeal your property assessment, and attempt to get your appraisal (and therefore property taxes) lowered.
How do I initiate a property tax appeal?
Once you receive your yearly property tax assessment letter, you have a certain amount of time known as the appeal window to contact your tax assessor's office and file an official property tax appeal. The length of this appeal window varies by county, but it generally lasts for 2-3 months following the release of new property appraisals (or the property tax due date).
Once you've decided to file an appeal, look up your local local tax assessor's office in our database and request a property tax appeal form. Your assessor's office will also be able to give you details about due dates, supporting documentation needed, and other information.
What information should I include in my property tax appeal?
When you submit a property tax appeal, your goal is to convince the assessor and the appeal review board that your house is actually worth less then the assessor says it is worth. You can do this by providing evidence proving your case. This evidence can include details of recent changes to the property that could lower the property's value (damage, renovations, etc), changes in the neighborhood, recent sale prices of comparable properties in your area
Depending on your county's appeal process, you may also be asked to propose an alternative appraisal valuation for your property which is backed up by your evidence. In this case, it's essential that you include as much hard data on recent sales or verified appraisals of similar properties showing that your proposed valuation is valid as possible.
Once your appeal is completed and submitted to your assessor, you will receive one of three responses - full acceptance of the appeal, denial of the appeal, or a counter-offer of a different valuation.
What happens if my appeal gets denied?
You have nothing to lose if your appeal is denied. If you still believe the assessor's valuation is unfair, you may be able to re-appeal at a higher level or submit a judicial appeal in your local court - although this process can be complicated, and many people choose to retain a property lawyer. Additionally, even if your appeal is denied this year, you always have the option of submitting a new appeal after your next year's property assessment is released.
For more information about the assessment appeal process in your county, contact your local tax assessor's office. You can find the contact information for your local tax assessor in our tax assessor database.