Property Taxes

Housing prices are decreasing in many markets, but your property tax bill is most likely increasing. But you can fight back is the good news.

Propert taxes in the United States have increased 20% from 2005-2009 says the most recent data available. The median annual real-estate-tax payment was $1,917 in 2009 from $1,614 in 2005. Home prices decreased 31% in major suburban areas during the same period.

Local governments normally don't measure house values every year and they have limits on property tax increases, which is why the value of a house downs't move in snyc with property taxes. That means when the market was healthier, your house value should reflect your property tax rate. There isn't much that can be done about your tax rate (set by local governments), however home owners can appeal to their local accessors to get their assessment lowered. WHich will translate into a lower tax bill.

Most homeowners are paying too much for property taxes, but there are ways to get a successful appeal. You need to fact-check your accessor's work. Nearly half of all successful appeals begin when homeowners find an error in the accessor's description of their home. Finding these errors can drive up the value of your house significantly.

Local officials find value in your home by house-by-house appraisals, computer models, and even ariel photogrpahs to see if there are any new additions to your house like a swimming pool etc. Since it is difficult to evaluate every house every year, they also look at recent house sales in your area.

Errors are not uncommon when finding the value of your home. So if you have the money to spare, hiring a lawyer or property-tax consultant is worth it. Appealing your house value is something to look into if you think you are paying too much in property taxes. Depending on the state or area, evaluations are every year or every couple of years. So take a look if you think you're paying too much.

Next time we will talk about how to check your assessment. Stay tuned!

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