The time to fight your tax evaluation has just past. You receive your tax evaluation sometime in April/May and have until May 30 to file a protest (or 30 days after receiving it). A Realtor can provide you with sold data from the past year to help establish the actual value. The Dallas Appraisal board requires proof that 4 homes in your specific neighborhood that have sold for less than your value.and or photos to show that your condition is less than stated on your tax records. It has been my experience, having fought my own tax value, that the more information you can provide the better.
Call me next year when you get your 2010 evaluation and I will provide you all the information you need or be able to show you why the evaluation is fair.
Mary Beth Harrison
The Harrison Group
Keller Williams Realty
I have sold about 15 homes in the past year where the tax assessor appraised value was significantly higher, often between 20% and 40% of what they paid for the home. It's important for homeowners to be aware of any declining values in their neighborhoods and challenge their property taxes whenever necessary.
Hope this helps. Remember, the assessed value is not fair market value; it is not what your house is "worth" or would sell for on the free/open market.
The best way is to have a real estate agent run a quick market analysis for you of houses similar in size and type to yours that have sold in the past six months in your subdivision or close by. This is what an appraiser does. Often the county will take a rather "blanket" approach to an area and go with a median price. The agent will be able to do a more thorough search for you and give you "ammunition" to go to your county appraiser to ask for a reduction. You can go to the agent who helped you find your house, or I can help you with it. Feel free to call me at 972-489-0228. Good question!
"Your Home Is Where My Heart Is"
You won't know unless you do some research. Your taxes are based on your property value multiplied by the millage (rate) for your area. So you need to find out your property value compared to other properties.
Here's how things work in my area. Your area probably follows a similar pattern. The property appraiser for your county will notify property owners by mail of the proposed taxes. You then have a certain period of time (usually short--perhaps a few weeks) to challenge your proposed taxes. During that period, you need to build your case and assemble evidence that shows why you believe your property is being valued too high for tax purposes.
To do this, you need to go to the website for your county property appraiser and find homes in your neighborhood that are similar to yours in age, size, and amenities and that are valued by the property appraiser at a lower amount than your home. If you have difficulty finding such homes, then you will probably have a hard time convincing the county to reassess your property to a lower value.
Other factors can also come into play If you have recently purchased your home, your property may have been reassessed based on the sale price. if you live in a state like mine (Florida) that has a homestead exemption, you will find that the values of homesteaded properties (primary residences) will be lower than those of second homes or rental properties.
People do succeed in getting their valuations adjusted, but you have to work quickly and present a good case. Good luck, and I hope that helps.
Maggie Hawk, REALTOR
Watson Realty Corp.