Fox Business network recently cited National Taxpayers Union data on property taxes in a story that exposed how property taxes have not declined despite the downward spiral in real estate values (Video available HERE). As NTU points out, this is due in large part to the fact 60% of properties are over-assessed.
Housing values have dropped about 18%, but property taxes continue to rise by 7% every year. Property taxes now account for over three quarters of local and state government tax revenue, and (surprise!) are not always accurately assessed by government officials.
Fox’s Gerry Willis offered some key tips to find out if your property is over-assessed:
- Call the accessor’s office to ask for their taxing authority (how they assess taxes) and ask for your property record.
- File an appeal if there is an error in your property record, official challenges can help.
- During the appeals process, make sure you have photos or hard evidence.
- Grab as many tax exemptions (i.e. disabilities, senior citizen) as you can by applying for them through the accessor’s office.
Avoid becoming one of the 60% of taxpayers whose property is over-assessed. In this down housing market, government officials are in no rush to update your property value. For more tips on reducing your property tax burden, check out NTU’s publication How to Fight Property Taxes.