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Has Your Property Tax Assessment Increased Recently?

Poquoson Property Tax Appeal on a Desk with a GavelHas your latest Poquoson property tax assessment notice given you quite a shock? You are not alone. Many property owners see significant increases in their property tax bills due to home value increases, boundary shifts, and other changes. The good thing is that there is something you can do about an unfair property assessment increase. A significant increase, especially one that has a huge discrepancy from other properties in your area, may give you grounds for objecting to it.

Objecting to a property assessment increase is actually pretty common, though it can seem nerve-wracking. About 20% to 40% of property owners can successfully lower property tax bills by objecting to property assessments, saving themselves a good amount of money in the process. Here are some guidelines on how to object to a property assessment increase and possibly lower next year’s property tax bill.

Step 1: Gather Evidence

If you suspect that your tax assessment has increased by mistake, the first thing to do is to get in touch with your tax assessor and ask them how they determined your property’s value. The increase could just be from the assessor’s error like inputting the incorrect square footage or the wrong number of bedrooms. If you cannot identify the reason for the increase immediately, you will have to do more research. Comparing your property to similar ones that have recently been sold in your area can be helpful. If these properties sold for a lot less than your property assessment, it could be solid grounds for your objection. Be sure to check your local laws and regulations.

Step 2: Look Up the Appeals Process

The process of objecting to a property assessment could differ from county to county. For that reason, you’ll need to be sure to look up the appeals procedure for your specific location. This information can usually be found on the county website or the tax assessor’s website in many cases. The needed forms for your appeal filing will also be downloadable from their sites. Pay particular attention to dates or timeframes. Most places give you 90 days within which to file your appeal, yet some give as little as 30 days. Still, in some areas, appeals are only accepted within a very specific window of time. Make sure you use your time efficiently and follow the procedures to the letter to increase your chances of success.

Step 3: File and Argue Your Case

When you have all the documents ready and have included your evidence, you can now file your appeal with the county. Again, be sure you are following the exact process stated on the county or tax assessor’s website. Pay any associated filing fees using an approved method. After this, you should receive a notification regarding the schedule of the hearing on your appeal. Attendance at the hearing is mandatory. Send a representative if you cannot go in person. Your appeal will not be considered if you -or your representative- do not show up for the hearing. Prepare all your documents and copies before the hearing. You will have your chance to argue your case and may successfully have your property assessment adjusted to reflect the current value of your property.

Objecting to your property assessment increase can help rental property owners keep their expenses under control. But it can take up a lot of your time, not counting the many steps you have to meticulously follow to improve your chances of success. If you need the assistance of Poquoson property management professionals to help maximize your rental income, call Real Property Management Dominion. We offer many valuable services to rental property owners like you that can help you keep your costs down and the rental income flowing in. Contact us online or call 757-395-4274 today!

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