Author Topic: reducing property taxes  (Read 2531 times)

taekvideo

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reducing property taxes
« on: April 08, 2014, 11:47:27 AM »
I bought my house in February this year... for $60k... but the tax assessed value is $108k, making the taxes a lot higher than I'd like.
I've been looking into contesting the assessed value... the information from my county is here: http://www.linncounty.org/DocumentCenter/Home/View/1792
I think the last time my house was assessed was in 2013.. and if I understand correctly I can only contest it right now under 1.a.(2)... that the value has decreased since the last assessment.
Would it be enough to just send this form with a copy of my purchase contract, to show that the market value is much lower than the tax assessed value?
Has anyone done anything like this before?

SnackDog

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Re: reducing property taxes
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2014, 11:52:29 AM »
I protest routinely if I don't think the valuation is fair. The process is specific to each jurisdiction.  I always send my own list of comparable sales (I live in a state where most are public info) which conform to the rules of the county in which the house is located.  (In my case, that is non-foreclosure sales within 1/2 mile of the subject property during Oct-Mar of the preceding year).  I mark up the similarities and differences to my property. I then add a big list of deficiencies to my property and arrive at a reasonable estimate of value.  I've had terrific reductions!

Frankies Girl

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Re: reducing property taxes
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2014, 12:23:16 PM »
I just protested my valuation last year, and will be doing so again this year.

Did you also receive a notice of how much the property was assessed for the last time? If it was assessed for what you paid, then that is a huge jump.

In your case, I would protest, based off the first one:
1.a.(1)(b). That said property is assessed for more than the value authorized by law (Section 441.21, Code of Iowa)
 that the amount of said over-assessment is.... and fill in the amount over what you paid for the property in February. If you look up the code 441.21, it does say:

Quote
The actual value of all property subject to assessment and
      taxation shall be the fair and reasonable market value of such
      property except as otherwise provided in this section.  "Market
      value" is defined as the fair and reasonable exchange in the year
      in which the property is listed and valued between a willing buyer
      and a willing seller, neither being under any compulsion to buy or
      sell and each being familiar with all the facts relating to the
      particular property.  Sale prices of the property or comparable
      property in normal transactions reflecting market value, and the
      probable availability or unavailability of persons interested in
      purchasing the property, shall be taken into consideration in
      arriving at its market value.  In arriving at market value, sale
      prices of property in abnormal transactions not reflecting market
      value shall not be taken into account, or shall be adjusted to
      eliminate the effect of factors which distort market value, including
      but not limited to sales to immediate family of the seller,
      foreclosure or other forced sales, contract sales, discounted
      purchase transactions or purchase of adjoining land or other land to
      be operated as a unit.


You do have a bit of a bargaining chip in that you just bought your house, so they have to consider the purchase price in their valuations, but I'm not sure how much weight they'd give towards that if you're in a super hot area. So that would be something to ask about.

I personally would request an oral hearing, and come in with the property sales info that just happened this year, but you might be okay just filling out the protest and attaching a form showing you purchased the property in February 2014 for XX amount, and that's what they should be basing the fair market value on... seems like it should be pretty cut and dried, but I'm always looking for ways to complicate things. ;) (and not an expert by any means, so hopefully  you'll get some smarter replies)




Taking photos of things that need work or repair in your house and then comparing them to houses recently sold pushed my assessor to giving me actually better than I had asked for. You can't really argue with photographic proof. This is the one time having a bunch of repairs and looking bad actually pays off! ;)

In my assessment, they provide the houses/recent sales of what they're basing my evaluation on. I can look up the houses and pull the beautiful realtor photos from the site, and show how they have fancy this, or brand new that, and I have a poor, pitiful dump. (okay, not really, but I've not put in the stuff you would to actually sell a house, and there's lots of stuff that is original to the house that needs updating).

« Last Edit: April 08, 2014, 12:33:14 PM by Frankies Girl »

taekvideo

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Re: reducing property taxes
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2014, 12:50:18 PM »
Hmm I didn't mention that I bought it in a foreclosure from Fannie Mae, would that make this more difficult?
It sat on the market for $80k for a couple months without being taken so that must at least be an upper bound on the market value.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2014, 12:52:33 PM by taekvideo »

Frankies Girl

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Re: reducing property taxes
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2014, 01:07:58 PM »
Foreclosure would make it a different ballgame.

I would contact your county assessor's office to ask about how to find comparable market pricing in your case.

You may not  have access to home pricing or assessments in your area (I have a county assessor's office available on the web to run neighborhood comps - available for free as it's a HUGE county). But if they do have these things online, it would make it a bit easier to at least pull up neighboring homes to see what they are assessed at.

You could also check with your realtor to see if they can (for free) get you some assessments for houses that were sold in the last year to see what comparable market value is for your neighborhood/area.

But you may be out of luck if it's a foreclosure since that means it was sold for well below market value to recoup part of the bank's investment.

MKinVA

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Re: reducing property taxes
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2014, 01:29:51 PM »
http://www.linncountyrecorder.com/

I looked at your county's real estate records for a way to search neighborhoods or recent sales, etc. Couldn't find that search. What you can do is ride around your neighborhood, look for similar homes, and then look up their assessments to see how you fare. Also, check what is on the market now similar to yours. Send them all the info you can. It never hurts to do a bureaucrat's homework for him (I say, as a good little bureaucrat myself). I protested mine a few years ago because the identical house to mine was assessed for $35,000 less. Got an adjustment for about 20 grand.

Spork

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Re: reducing property taxes
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2014, 01:57:54 PM »

In my experience (small) it seriously depends on who you talk to at the Appraisal district.  I argued and argued and argued when we first bought our land that it should be Ag exempt.  A few years later, the wife was in protesting her mom's land valuation and happened to talk to the head honcho.  He was super helpful.  (She then said... hey... what about our land? and he fixed that as well.)

TomTX

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Re: reducing property taxes
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2014, 05:44:09 AM »

In my experience (small) it seriously depends on who you talk to at the Appraisal district.  I argued and argued and argued when we first bought our land that it should be Ag exempt.  A few years later, the wife was in protesting her mom's land valuation and happened to talk to the head honcho.  He was super helpful.  (She then said... hey... what about our land? and he fixed that as well.)

This approach can be super-helpful for dealing with virtually all large organizations.

Internet bill went up and the first person you call won't give you a deal? Thank them, hang up and call again. Someone will cut you a deal.