Author Topic: Slash your property taxes!  (Read 2294 times)

SnackDog

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Slash your property taxes!
« on: January 11, 2014, 07:43:59 AM »
I have had some success getting county assessor to lower valuations in the past.  Last year the guy even emailed me back and forth a few times and drove by the house before lowering the value for me.  Love it.  I talked him down another $100,000 over his initial assessment and can't wait for this year after reviewing the comparables today.

In California the way it works is the value for the tax year is as of January 1 and comparable sales need to be within .5 miles of the subject property, closed between Oct 1 and Dec 31, and be as close as possible in size, age, etc.   I usually go on Zillow in January and make a list. I also capture photos of the comparables from real estate web sites.  The county assesses values and sends out notices in July.  From July to Nov or so one can mail in an appeal. I send a letter explaining why my house is so horrible (original kitchens,  baths, etc) and an analysis and photos of the comparables (fancy new interiors, new roofs, etc).  The first year I did this I used some foreclosures as comparables and didn't get much traction as they are not considered representative of fair market value. Last year I was especially proud as home prices have risen substantially in my zip code but I was able to talk the guy down.

Get after it!

Grateful Stache

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Re: Slash your property taxes!
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2014, 08:01:01 AM »
Great idea!

Sometimes in life, all you have to do is ask!

Cheers.

arebelspy

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Re: Slash your property taxes!
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2014, 08:18:59 AM »
What was the actual difference in your tax bill, and how much time did it take?

(Not trying to be negative, genuinely curious.)
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SnackDog

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Re: Slash your property taxes!
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2014, 09:11:50 AM »
I guess it took a couple hours to research and write up.  Saved me over $1000.  I reckon having it lower also helps keep it low in succeeding years as they keep my notes on file and/or are reluctant to increase it beyond general market trends. Thus, it could be multiple years of savings.  One year I did the research and it showed the assessment looked about right or even a bit low, so I didn't bother.

Miamoo

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Re: Slash your property taxes!
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2014, 09:37:42 AM »
Did pretty much the same thing here about 2 years ago.  Saved us $1,300.00 that year and yes, it does increase annually based the percentage your county might increase overall but you're still ahead. 

In our case it took a couple of months to receive a letter from the county officially reducing our taxes.

I think (right or wrong?) that every state and county has different requirements and time limits for you to comply to but hey . . . definitely worth time spent to find out.

honobob

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Re: Slash your property taxes!
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2014, 11:48:50 AM »


In California the way it works is the value for the tax year is as of January 1 and comparable sales need to be within .5 miles of the subject property, closed between Oct 1 and Dec 31, and be as close as possible in size, age, etc.   
Actually there is no distance requirement for comps although closer is generally better.  Also the only time limit is a comp must have closed no MORE than 90 days past the lien date, January first.  If the best comp is in July you can use it unless the assessor can show a better comp closer to the lien date.  When did you buy and what year did you get the reduction for?  I didn't think many people were getting reductions for 1/1/2013.  You know that $1,000 is being taken from the schools ;-)  .