Yesterday we discussed the necessity and process of appealing your property taxes. Now let’s look at the documentation necessary and what to do once you have submitted all the paperwork.

COLLECT YOUR EVIDENCE

The bulk of your work will be collecting the evidence to make your case.

InvestorCompsOnline makes this step a breeze. Plug your property address into the system and get the list of sales in your area. It’s best to get actual sale prices, but you could also visit a realtor website and get listed prices. These will provide a good baseline if there haven’t been any recent sales in your area.

Collect data on three to five properties. Make sure they’re similar in size and style, and were built around the same time. Point out why the houses are comparable to yours, and note any significant differences that could affect values, such as proximity to a busy street.

Also note if your home is near any foreclosed or vacant homes, which are known to lower property value.

It’s important to show you did your homework, but there’s no need to submit a 50-page appeal, a few solid comparables are fine.

FOLLOW-UP ON YOUR APPEAL

It’s wise to check on the status of your appeal a few weeks after you file. But don’t panic if you don’t hear back right away. Local assessor offices are often swamped with appeals and may take months to get back to you.

If your appeal is denied, you’re usually given a window of time to request a hearing in tax court.

This isn’t as intimidating as it sounds, and you probably still won’t need a lawyer. It may just be that you have to state your case more clearly to the review board.

In the meantime, continue paying your property tax bills. If you ultimately win your case, any money you overpaid should be refunded.

All in all the process is fairly simple, especially using InvestorCompsOnline to gather your data! So, give it a try. You may find that after you’ve completed the process the information you’ve collected may be useful in some of your future deals.

All the best,
MJ


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