Have you been shocked by what you see in your McDonough property tax assessment notice? You are not alone. Many property owners see significant increases in their property tax bills due to home value increases, boundary shifts, and other changes. When the property assessment increase seems unfair, you can actually do something about it. Significant increases are grounds for objecting to it, especially when it is not at par with other properties in your area.
Objecting to a property assessment increase will seem daunting, but it is more common than you think. Around 20% to 40% of property owners have successfully lowered their property tax bills by objecting to their property assessment and saved a lot of money while doing so. The following are tips on how to object to a property assessment increase and possibly lower your property tax bill for the coming year.
Step 1: Gather Evidence
If you have reason to believe your tax assessment has increased by mistake, the first thing you should do is to contact your tax assessor and ask how they determined your property’s value. The increase could simply be a result of the assessor encoding the incorrect square footage or the wrong number of bedrooms for your property. If you cannot identify the reason for the increase immediately, you will have to do more research. One way is to find some comparable properties that have recently been sold in your area. If the selling price for these properties is a lot less than your property assessment, that may be solid grounds for your objection. Be sure to check your local laws and regulations.
Step 2: Look Up the Appeals Process
The process of objecting to a property assessment could differ from county to county. This is why you have to look up the appeals procedure for your particular location. A quick browse through the county website or the tax assessor’s website will easily yield this information. You can also download the forms you will be needing from their sites. Pay particular attention to dates or timeframes. In most counties, you must file an appeal within 90 days. In other places, this can be as short as 30 days. There are also locations that accept appeals only within a very specific window of time. Following the exact procedure will make sure you are using your time efficiently as well as increase your chances of success.
Step 3: File and Argue Your Case
As soon as your documents -including your evidence- are prepared, you can file your appeal with the county. Again, make sure you follow everything on the county or tax assessor’s website. You might need to pay a minimal filing fee; do it using an approved method. You should then receive a notification on the schedule of the hearing on your appeal. You have to attend the hearing, or else send a representative if you cannot appear personally. The county won’t consider your appeal if you miss the hearing. Make sure to have all documents and copies on hand. If you successfully argue your case, you can then have your property assessment adjusted to reflect the accurate current value of your property.
Objecting to your property assessment increase can help rental property owners keep their expenses under control. It takes time though, and there are many steps you need to know and follow to make sure your appeal is successful. If you need McDonough property management professionals to help you, you can contact Real Property Management Anchor. We offer many valuable services to rental property owners like you that can help you keep your costs down and the rental income flowing in. Contact us online or call 770-506-1237 today!
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