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One in four homeowners have challenged their property taxes

Dennis Norman St Louis RealtorAs we watch the values of our homes drop, we would expect to see our county assessor’s valuations drop as well, resulting in lower property taxes. However, that is not the case in many counties as homeowners find their homes being valued higher by assessor’s than the market value is. Well, according to a survey conducted by FindLaw.com, one in four homeowners are doing something about it and challenging the assessed value of their homes. The good news? According to the responses, the majority who did so say they were successful in lowering their tax bills!

According to the FindLaw.com survey, 24 percent of homeowners say they have challenged their assessments at some point during their home ownership. When a challenge was filed, survey respondents said it was successful in lowering their property tax bills in approximately three-quarters of those instances with the reduction in tax bills most often being between1 and 4 percent.

“It’s not enough to simply march into the tax assessor’s office and say, ‘I think my property taxes are too high,'” said Stephanie Rahlfs, an attorney and editor with FindLaw.com. “Challenging an assessment requires research and due diligence. A challenge needs to be presented with a well-researched and well-organized set of facts. In addition, the formulas for calculating property taxes and the procedures for appeals can vary widely depending on the county and state.

“For example,” Rahlfs continued, “in some jurisdictions, the assessed value is the full market value, while others use an assessment ratio that assigns a percentage of the market value. An independent appraiser or an attorney specializing in property taxes may be helpful in determining whether an appeal of your assessment makes sense. They also can help you collect

Online information that will help you with your property tax appeal:

  • Get information on what homes in your neighborhood have sold for recently easily as well as monitor the value of your home on an ongoing basis if you wish with a free Listing Book account by clicking here.
  • FindLaw.com offers some good information online about property taxes, challenging the valuation of your property and more…you can check out all the resources they offer by clicking here.
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