Homeowners are often surprised when their property tax bill shows up. Your taxes may go up, and you may not understand why. It’s often worth taking a closer look at the bill to figure out if the increases are fair. Check out the following factors to make sure you’re paying the correct amount.
Common Property Tax Errors
Make sure your property card is correct. Sometimes, mistakes can be made, such as the value, dimensions or acreage of your property. When this happens, you could pay too much on your taxes because the assessment was based on a larger lot size or features your home doesn’t have.
These types of errors do occur often. You won’t know about these errors without getting a property card from the town hall and looking at it yourself. If you notice errors, you will need to let the assessor know before you pay too high of an amount on your taxes.
Another area you want to inspect on your property assessment is the comps. Look at neighbors’ properties in your area with similar homes when it comes to size, age, condition, location and style. You may find that your value is higher than a neighboring home, but shouldn’t be. Maybe both properties have four bedrooms, two bathrooms and finishes basements, but you only have a one-car garage, while your neighbor has a two-car garage. If your home came in with a higher value, you may have a case.
Improvements Listed, but Don’t Exist
Maybe you talked about adding a pool or a deck, but never did. Maybe it’s still in the process of being added. If this is the case and these improvements show up on your tax bill, the assessment could be wrong. Make sure you only pay for what you’ve actually added to the property.
In some cases, you may receive exemptions, which you may not be taking advantage of. It’s important to ask about these possible exemptions and incentives if you want to reduce your tax bill. It never hurts to ask.
Before you just pay the tax bill you receive, make sure you check everything for accuracy. Errors often happen and you need to be able to spot them, or you could pay too much in property taxes. Take the time to look at your taxes thoroughly before you write that check. Or have a professional property tax adjuster do it for you.