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Overtaxed Property Owners go Largely Unnoticed

April 12, 2010


It appears that local governments are using the collapse of the housing bubble to their advantage.  Up to 60 percent of the nation’s taxable property may be over-assessed, leaving property owners to pay thousands of dollars more than they need to.  According to this article, home prices have falling by 30 percent on average since 2007.  Yet, many counties only reassess every three to five years.  They have little incentive to reassess property more frequently because property taxes are important to funding local government operations. 


Homeowners are increasingly appealing the valuations, although the total number of appeals is still quite small.  The results are mixed.  Many local taxpayer groups and non-profit organizations are providing resources and hosting workshops to help homeowners with the process. 


Unfortunately, we’re left with a Catch 22.  Winning an appeal doesn’t always save you money.  Since property taxes account for nearly 45 percent of general revenue collected by local governments, municipalities make up the difference by raising taxes somewhere else- usually in the form of higher sales taxes. 


It looks like taxpayers are caught in a never-ending cycle of shifting the tax burden around from group to group. 


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User Comments

Submitted by at: July 30, 2014
Nous pouvons parler de désirs et les besoins non satisfaits restent pendule bloqué en raison de l'indécision et l'hésitation stérile. Il s'agit d'une période pendant laquelle il est difficile de réagir rapidement aux défis urgents et immédiats.

Submitted by ps vita Metal Gear at: July 30, 2014
a shepherd, who raised him and named him Paris. Reaching adult, ps vita Metal Gear Paris showed unusual qualities, distinguished especially in defending the flocks which they were entrusted.

Submitted by bob f at: May 7, 2012
Property taxes are a scam. I hope to hear of whole cities of people overturning them and running the fat ducks out on a rail. If you buy it, you own it, and shouldn't have to ever pay another dime in taxes on it. The cities will just need to deal with that and quit wasting money and be stopped from stealing houses.

Submitted by CHEQUITAX at: January 22, 2011
You should read SC former Attorney General opinion on this matter as it relates to the interpretaion of the law. The link is

Submitted by Stephen at: September 16, 2010
There are several services on the internet that help with filing appeals. Some cliam to do the whole thing. There are "how to" guys like Taxaxe that sound pretty good and there are guys that are more oriented to getting you the right valuation information like lowermyassessment. you might try googloing lower my property assessment to find several sources. Good luck

Submitted by CM2K at: May 28, 2010
OK, so I come here because you've been mentioned on TV as a place to go to fight your property tax assessment and what do I find? You want us to spend $10 to order some brochure. Can you say "scam"? Seriously, if you guys are legit, I can't tell it from your site. Sad. Really pathetic.

Submitted by dawn at: April 28, 2010
I thought I can get help thru this website as this was mentioned on TV however I haven't read anything yet on how to get property values reduced in line with the decline in values.

Submitted by Jeff @ NTU at: April 12, 2010
While we can't give specific tax advice, I wanted to pass along a couple of possibilities for you. One is our brochure on how to appeal your property taxes, entitled "How to Fight Property Taxes." It's available here, Another option might be our "Standing Together" brochure, which details how to start a tax group or battle, For Lindy in MA, Pete Sepp -- NTU's Executive VP -- suggested that you might want to try and get in touch with Citizens for Limited Taxation, For Candy, Pete suggests, "I have heard of homeowners who were occasionally able to win retroactive relief, going back to the beginning of the assessment cycle or the date of change in value due to renovation. However, this is very rare." Please let us know how things turn out for all of you.

Submitted by Nadine at: April 12, 2010
I am having the same issue as many other homeowners ragarding the value of my home being reduced while my homeowners taxes are incraesing. How do I lower my homeowners taxes? I live in Lithonia, Ga.

Submitted by Donna at: April 12, 2010
My concern is for those who are retired and living on fixed income. How are we supposed to continue to pay property taxes that keep going up every year. I would like to see something done to give those who are retired a break in property taxes. I live in a small condo and my taxes are extremely high. What can we do to fight this situation? I live in PA

Submitted by Linda at: April 12, 2010
We did some remodeling ourselves without permits on my uncles home and had to remove a sun room that was rotted out. That has decreased the sq footage of the home. We then purchased the home from his estate. With the house now being valued less is it worth trying to get the property taxes lowered and putting up the red flags about the remodeling w/o permits? Any ideas?

Submitted by Jack at: April 12, 2010
We have a summer home in Galena Territory Jo Daviess County Illinois. They are reassessing property and have raised property values 25% to 45% in our area we got a small relief, but still believe they are at least 35% high. I understand there are over 700 home owners seeking relief. If proper relieg is not allowed can the home owners sue with aclass action suite?

Submitted by willy at: April 12, 2010
I also need suggestions on how to investigate this issue

Submitted by Candy at: April 12, 2010
I watched the today show this morning and heard about this organization. I live in a small town in South Dakota where housing has little value so the blog topic is not what I want to ask about. My problem involves a home assessment in 2004 that valued the carpet in this house we bought in 2006, at $65,000. It was concidered high-end/special order and judged to be worth $17 or more a square foot. The value of the carpet appears to be 1/4 to 1/3 the total value of the house with depreciation. The assesser said that it was not a mistake, there is carpet worth that much. She came and looked at our house and changed the value of the carpet to $3 a suare foot. She also lowered the condition and quality markers on the house. The taxed value of our home dropped $30,000. This year we will still have to pay taxes on the old value. That means we will have been overcharged thousands of dollars on this over-valued home. My question to anyone who can answer it or direct me to somewhere so I can get answers, is this: Do I have a good legal claim for a return of my extra tax dollars on the grounds the previous tax assesser made a mistake with the carpet? I have a meeting with the county commissioners next week to discuss this and I would like to sound good and persuade them to give me back some money or credit. Please respond.

Submitted by Lindy at: April 12, 2010
I am encountering this problem in MA. Anyone out there have any suggestions?