When you own a home, one thing you can be sure of is property taxes going up at some point. Many times they outpace inflation of your salary.
The U.S. Census Bureau reports homeowners in the U.S. paid $126 billion in real estate taxes during the first quarter of this year, almost 6 percent more than last year.
At Sotheby’s Phoenix, I notice property taxes creep up for a couple of reasons: when Maricopa County raises its property tax rate or when Phoenix reassesses the value of all the properties within the city.
While you can’t do anything about the local property tax rate, I know at Sotheby’s Phoenix you can challenge your property assessment. If you win, you’ll end up with a lower tax bill. BankRate.com says the purpose of appealing is if you think the assessor overvalued your property.
Find out the deadline. You’ll need to find out when the board meets in order for your property tax appeal to be heard. At Sotheby’s Phoenix, I recommend looking on your property tax bill or your property tax assessment to find out how to get an appeal started. You should also be able to find information at http://mcassessor.maricopa.gov/
Gather all necessary info. Before you go to all the effort of making the appeal, keep in mind, the assessor might have correctly valued your home. So before starting the appeal, at Sotheby’s Phoenix, I recommend verifying what your home is worth by hiring a certified independent fee appraiser. It might cost you a few hundred bucks but at least you’ll be able to get an idea if it’s worth moving forward or not.
Check nearby home sales. Find out what other homes are selling for or assessed at in your neighborhood. If those homes either sold or were assessed below what your home is valued at, then it might be worth going through with the appeal.
Document. In order to make an appeal, you’ll need to do research to make your case. Be ready to provide photos, your independent appraisal, and records of recent sales and so on. The assessor might examine your documents and make a decision. Other times I’ve noticed at Sotheby’s Phoenix, the assessor might decide for you to present your case before a local appeals board. You could end of waiting for months for a decision. If you lose your case there, you can always take your appeal to the state assessor.
While not an easy process to do a property tax appeal, it’s definitely doable.