Property tax is a form of tax that is directly levied on all types of real estate property. These taxes can be really worrisome for the property owner, as they tend to rise steadily over time. Since people usually take a mortgage for their property, an added charge that increases with time is a further inconvenience. Instead of worrying when tax time rolls around, here are some steps you can follow to minimize the impact of high property taxes.
Limit Curb Appeal
Property tax is levied on the assessed value, which is determined by a tax assessor. The assessed value is calculated taking in various factors like the attractiveness of the house, comparison with neighboring houses, and also the general vicinity. So to ensure that your assessed value remains reasonable, you can avoid any fancy surface alterations, as this ensures that your house doesn’t appear too primped-out.
Avoid Structural Changes
The simplest way to evade high property taxes is to avoid house renovations, such as increasing the size of the house, adding a floor above the roof, or building a balcony. The tax assessor takes these structural add-ons into consideration, and usually, these changes are the reason for the substantial increase in the property tax.
Analyze Your Property Tax Card
A tax card is a document that provides detailed information about the property you own, such as the size of the plot, the accurate dimensions of the rooms, and the number and type of fixtures within the house. Information about any structural additions is also mentioned. You can collect this card from your local tax office and check for discrepancies in the information mentioned. If you find any error, you can raise a complaint to the tax assessor. This ensures that you don’t pay extra tax because of incorrect information.
Compare To Confirm
Usually, detailed information about your neighboring houses is available in the local tax office. If you feel that your property has been unfairly assessed, you can always look through the property specifications and assessed the value of other houses in your neighborhood. There are cases when the identical properties are given a different assessment value. In such a case, you can bring this issue to the tax assessor’s notice.
Accompany The Assessor
Most people don’t mind it if the tax assessor checks out their property on their own. This is not the best idea as sometimes, the assessor may look past the problems of the house, while giving your home an unfair higher assessed value. To avoid this scenario, always accompany the assessor during their visit. Point out things that might otherwise go unnoticed and present a clear picture of the property. Doing this will help the assessor be objective and hence lower the assessed value.