Money Tips: Guide To Property Taxes

Do you pay the right amount of property taxes? Do you even understand them? Read this informative guide and find out some of the basics that can save you money today!

If you own any amount of property, whether it is a city lot or a hundred acres of farmland, by law you must pay tax on it. You are required to not only pay tax on the property, but also, on any buildings that are erected on the property. These buildings can include houses, garages, pole barns, storage sheds, chicken coops, et cetera. Residential, as well as commercial land, is subject to taxation. You can pay your property taxes one of two ways: it is automatically added to your monthly mortgage payments. Or, you can pay it as it is billed to you twice a year.

The rules and regulations of property taxes vary from state to state. Basically, though, the county in which you live in collects these taxes. The money is then used to support needs like local government, education, and social services.

How much tax you are charged for your property depends on the amount your property and the buildings that are located on it are appraised at. Normally, it is the responsibility of your county to assess your property. Then, the state board is supposed to review the assessments in order to ensure that they are correct. Your final tax bill can then be lowered if you have reductions such as the Homestead Act, for example.

If you feel that your property tax is too high, you have the right to appeal it with your county auditor. The main problem is that often, properties are reportedly over assessed. This can be offset by reductions because of the depreciation of your residence and outbuildings, for one example. Some experts estimate that the average person is overcharged as much as a thousand dollars a year. It is very important that your property is assessed correctly. The rules and regulations in regards to how you must appeal vary from county to county. You can call, write, or e-mail your county auditor's office for specific details.

Basically, you'll need to obtain and fill out an appeal form. The form will require your name and address; the identification number (s) of your parcel(s) of land; the name of your attorney, if applicable; the reason(s) why you think your property was assessed too high; and proof of your claim. To explain further, you can find the identification number(s) of your parcel(s) on your property tax bill. You don't necessarily need an attorney to represent you in this matter if you're filing in regards to your residence. And, proof of your claim may include photographs.

Once you submit your appeal form, a board will investigate your claim. If they find that it has merit, then a hearing will be scheduled for you to present your case in person. You must be sure to take your proof of claim with you at this time.

If your appeal is approved, then the county will conduct a reappraisal on your property and its buildings. On the other hand, if, by chance, the officials on the county level deny your appeal, you can then appeal to the state board.

Finally, you must realize that anytime you do any sort of improvement to your property, this will raise the value of it. In turn, your property will then be reassessed and your taxes will become higher. Common improvements include building additions onto your home; adding outbuildings; constructing a swimming pool, deck or patio; re-siding your home, et cetera.

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