Author Topic: Property Tax Appeal  (Read 2245 times)

tennisray

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Property Tax Appeal
« on: June 28, 2017, 10:34:24 AM »
I appealed my property tax assessment.  The assessor stated that his numbers are spot on and discouraged me from going forward with the appeal.  I told him I'd like to move forward. 
A little back history:During the housing downturn, I re-fi'd my house and tried to use my appraisal to lower my county valuation.  I was intimidated by the assessor and dropped the appeal (kicking myself now since that seems like an easier way of winning the appeal).  I bought the house with a semi-finished basement with a bathroom.  Permits were not pulled so it wasn't listed in the county records.  It was in the re-fi appraisal that I gave to the county assessor.  He threatened that my value would go up based on the upgrades to the basement.  At the time, he said he wouldn't update my records to reflect the basement upgrades.

The next step of the appeal is to go in front of the board of equalization to present my case.  The county assessor said that if I do this, he would immediately ask for an on-site (in-house) visit.  I guess the old re-fi appraisal may be in my file? 

Have any of you went through a similar process?  Do I have to give them access to my basement?  I don't have HVAC, but half of the basement is finished.  My appeal is based on the valuation.  The county just goes by recent sales and square footage.  My contention is that I have not renovated like my neighbors and have all original flooring, appliances, cabinets, etc that my neighbors had upgraded when selling.  Thanks!

MommyCake

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Re: Property Tax Appeal
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2017, 03:53:15 AM »
My bit of advice....
Do a search on realtor or zillow to find at least 3 homes in your neighborhood that sold recently that are similar to yours in beds/baths, square footage, upgrades, etc.  If those houses sold for less than your assessment, you should bring your case to the board, with those comps and a current appraisal.  Chances are the board will not accept your appraisal since it sounds like it was a while ago and housing has gone up in most areas.  They will want something that is current to accurately reflect the value. 

waltworks

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Re: Property Tax Appeal
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2017, 04:17:27 PM »
If you are appealing because you honestly think your house is worth less, then get a real appraisal done and show up with your ducks in a row to present a compelling and objective case.

If you think you are going to put one over on the county by making up some excuse about how a previous owner didn't pull permits on the basement improvements, forget it (unless you want to rip all that stuff back out!) Don't waste everyone's time - just pay your taxes and go on with your life.

-W

Goldielocks

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Re: Property Tax Appeal
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2017, 04:25:42 PM »
Requiring to see the property is very common during the re-assessment appeal, and all the property, too.

Unless the only homes comparable nearby that sold were actually brand new, your assessment should be fairly close to  those, for same size, beds, baths, number of stories, lot size, and maybe garage.   Even a 7 year old home would be considered comparable to an unrenovated, but well maintained older home of the same size.

If your valuation is comparable, but did not include the basement finished area, you will run the risk of an increase in your assessment. It does happen.

I have seen properties be reduced in valuation for things like placement on a busy road, or an issue with the property, or evidence of damage inside.

Car Jack

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Re: Property Tax Appeal
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2017, 05:02:09 AM »
I've appealed and won a reduction is value.  I pulled about 7 comps and did extensive analysis to equalize my house to those (if they have a garage and I have none, deduct the value of a garage, for example).  All 7 comps showed that my house was valued too high.

If you don't have rock solid proof like the above, don't bother.  As mentioned, filing an appeal for abatement opens up your assessment and you could end up with a higher valuation.  You also could end up with an order to rip out any upgrades for which a permit was not pulled.

How much are we talking?  If it's a few thousand dollars a year, maybe worth it with solid proof.  If it's $100 in tax, why are you wasting your time?

RetirementDreaming

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Re: Property Tax Appeal
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2017, 12:22:39 PM »
I've requested a property review and won.   I also encouraged my work peer to do the same and she won hers too. 

I pulled 5 comps and showed the price per square foot was too high for my house.   It was insanely high and no comps in the neighborhood supported it.   In the end the tax value was dropped $60k.

Goldielocks

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Re: Property Tax Appeal
« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2017, 02:30:34 PM »
Oh,  one thing I did do... It doesn't require a re-assessment. 

 I updated the on our file listing for number of bedrooms, bathrooms, size, and such.  For some reason the original 1971 home was listed as a 4 bedroom home, when it technically only had 1 bedroom plus 2 "dens" on the lower level.  I think a home renovation at one point eliminated the walls of one of the storage rooms that had been counted as a bedroom, but the original stats were never updated.. and a room without a closet isn't supposed to be called a bedroom here.

This means that in the following year, different homes are used as the comparables (ones with one-two bedrooms, not four).

BlueHouse

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Re: Property Tax Appeal
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2017, 09:21:09 PM »
I provided evidence of hail damage, with documentation from the insurance company that paid me some money for the damages ( with the understanding that I didn't intent to get the damage repaired.)
Other houses in the hood had the same damage or worse but didn't appeal. My property taxes will be $500 less next year.

tennisray

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Re: Property Tax Appeal
« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2017, 01:45:48 PM »
Thanks for all the replies!
When it comes down to it, I live in GA, where property taxes are relatively low (I grew up on Long Island, NY).  I do feel justified in appealing my property value.  There are 2 other houses in the neighborhood with the exact same floor plans that are less (and that was how I came up with what I felt my house should be valued).  However, even if I do win, it is a matter of a few hundred dollars difference, not thousands.  It will probably not be worth the hassle.  It's more about principle...I am upset I was talked out of going forward with the appeal years ago when I had great evidence/appraisal.  It will not be worth paying $400 for a new appraisal.  I am interested in the process, but don't want to waste everyone's time and risk an increase in valuation on top of it!

The other benefit of going all the way is that we have a law that states that my property value (even if it isn't lowered) will not be changed for 2 years following the appeal (i guess to discourage any retaliation by the county?)

Thanks again!

BlueHouse

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Re: Property Tax Appeal
« Reply #9 on: July 04, 2017, 11:05:24 AM »
Thanks for all the replies!
When it comes down to it, I live in GA, where property taxes are relatively low (I grew up on Long Island, NY).  I do feel justified in appealing my property value.  There are 2 other houses in the neighborhood with the exact same floor plans that are less (and that was how I came up with what I felt my house should be valued).  However, even if I do win, it is a matter of a few hundred dollars difference, not thousands.  It will probably not be worth the hassle.  It's more about principle...I am upset I was talked out of going forward with the appeal years ago when I had great evidence/appraisal.  It will not be worth paying $400 for a new appraisal.  I am interested in the process, but don't want to waste everyone's time and risk an increase in valuation on top of it!

The other benefit of going all the way is that we have a law that states that my property value (even if it isn't lowered) will not be changed for 2 years following the appeal (i guess to discourage any retaliation by the county?)

Thanks again!
So.... A couple hundred times a couple years isn't worth it?  My assessment came in 60k lower which means 500 less in tax next year and the following year and there is a percent cap on the amount of growth each year. To me, that's a lot. I'm already collecting evidence (that has nothing to do with comps) for next year. I plan to convince the city that my house is the worst on the block.   There are pluses and minuses to every home, but if no one else goes forward with the minuses, then I will.
I'm also adding in that there is construction at the entrance to my neighborhood. Although it's not directly in front of my house, I get the dirt, vibration, and rodent effect of construction. I'll be leading with that next year.