3 Steps To Lower Property Taxes
Posted On: May 20, 2016
Most property owners try not to give too much thought to the amount they’re paying in property taxes. If there’s a mortgage on the home, property taxes are usually rolled into the monthly payment. In other cases, the homeowner is just so used to cutting that check each year that he or she does so without fanfare.
Following the status quo could be a mistake. In fact, 30 to 60 percent of taxable property in the United States is over-assessed.
Here are three simple steps to help you determine if you might be paying too much, and how to file a grievance that just may lower your obligation to Uncle Sam.
- 1. IS YOUR PROPERTY OVER-ASSESSED?
In most cases, municipalities’ current assessment or taxable value isn’t equal to the market value; a Residential Assessment Ratio (RAR) is applied. The RAR is the overall ratio of the taxable value of your property compared to the assessed full market value of that property.
For example, in the Town of Greenville, 2015 taxes are based on a taxable value that equals approximately 68.2 percent of the full market value. So a home with an assessed full market value of $354,300 would have a taxable value of 68.2 percent of that total, which would be $241,633.
Contact your local tax assessor to find out your property’s current assessment, as well as the current RAR. He or she may even be able to provide the assessed full market value directly. In any case, you should have no trouble getting the information necessary to determine the assessed full market value of your property.
- 2. GET AN APPRAISAL ON YOUR PROPERTY.
If you suspect that you’re being taxed on an assessed value that is higher than the full market value of your property, it’s up to you to prove it.
A real estate appraisal performed by a licensed, certified home appraiser in your state is one of the most effective forms of proof you can offer. A real estate appraisal will determine the exact market value of your property.
Still, it’s possible some debate will come up about the accuracy of your appraisal; choosing a reliable appraiser can help ensure you acquire the supporting documentation and facts needed to validate its credibility.
- 3. FILE A TAX GRIEVANCE.
If your appraisal shows the market value of your property is lower than your assessed value, it’s definitely time to file a grievance.
You’ll need to file the correct form(s) with the tax assessor, as well as supporting documentation, including your real estate appraisal demonstrating a lower market value than your current assessed value.
Information about filing your grievance in New York State, as well as the required RP5-24 form, can be found at the following link: https://www.tax.ny.gov/pit/property/contest/completegriev.htm
Remember, tax grievance deadlines vary by municipality, and typically only occur once per year. Make sure you check with your tax assessor to ensure that you get your material filed on time.
The grievance process can be a lot less difficult than you may think, and the appraisal will hold a critical role in lowering your property taxes.
A successful grievance can ultimately save you hundreds or thousands of dollars each year in over-assessed property taxes. That’s definitely worth the cost of an appraisal.