Winning a Property Tax Appeal

In a time of financial strain, our main priority becomes stretching the budget as much as possible. You could save serious money, even take a chunk out of your house payment, if you have your property reassessed.

How likely is it that you're overpaying?

According to the National Tax Payer’s Union, a Washington DC-based advocacy group, nearly 60% of taxable properties in the United States is assessed at values higher than they ought to be. This translates into higher property taxes, as well. Also, a Consumer’s Report article referenced by the American Homeowner’s Association states that almost 40% of property appraisals have clerical errors. In short, you might be paying more taxes for your property than you have to. Why give away your money for free? 1 in 3 appeals are granted, so you have excellent prospects for success - with documentation (like a professional appraisal), your prospects go up.

Do not be intimidated by the prospect of contesting your property assessment.

It simply is not all that complicated. First, you just look up the current assessment data for your home. You can do a web search including your state and county to find details about appealing your current property assessment [or use the links for Collier County, Florida and Lee County, Florida that we provide on our site]. In your assessment, you'll find most of the data you need - the dates and deadlines for filing appeals, forms, assessment procedures and local tax laws. Some county assessor websites will let you look up the current assessed value of your home. Alternately, you can always simply visit your county assessor’s office and ask for a copy of your latest property assessment. The data is about your home - don't you want to know?

40% have errors that you are paying for!

Look for any errors and discrepancies like the wrong square footage, or the wrong number of bedrooms. It's incredibly common for the assessment to be based on wrong data. Remember: 40%. These details are instrumental in your property assessment. Print or write them down, as well as data on any new additions to the house. Keep in mind the present state of your property - whether you are located near a declining area, etc. It also helps to keep an eye on what comparable properties in your neighborhood are actually selling for - often the sales price varies dramatically right on the same street. Engage an Certified Residential Appraiser to appraiser your house (for a modest fee). This is documentation of the current appraised value - not from a mass assessment, but from looking at your house in particular in comparison with others.

The process is straightforward.

  1. Compile all of your notes and research for your tax appeal, including the appraisal report delivered to you by a Certified Residential Appraiser in Southwest Florida. Once you have these in order, you can start filing. Typically, the application for a hearing with the Appraisal review Board would require your contact information, a description of the property involved and the reason for your appeal. You might also need an application form or affidavit notarized. Be sure to check the county’s website (use the links on our site to get there) for the requirements, or call them or contact us for any needed clarifications.
  2. Attend your appeal. Be sure to bring all you data and have them arranged in detailed, readable notes. Be cool, calm and collected. Don’t forget to be polite. Some cases are thrown out just because the person making the appeal goes overboard in expressing the injustice of being overtaxed for so long - you can't call the board SOBs. Keep it cool, and remember that 1 in 3 appeals are granted. That alone should tell you how strong a case you may have for a successful appeal.
  3. Do what you want with the money you save in property taxes (and/or on your house payment).

Start Appeal Now

Getting the ball rolling is the biggest and smallest thing you'll have to do. See if you qualify for lower property taxes. We're standing by to help.

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