With the decline in real estate values, many homeowners have opted to appeal their property taxes. This is especially the case for new construction homes that often have substantially higher property taxes than their established neighbors. Also, some homeowners have had their property taxes rise due to home improvements or additions; but now they may not realize the full resale value the tax assessor placed on the improvement at the time of assessment.
To appeal your property taxes, you must first determine if you are in fact paying a higher property tax than other homeowners whose homes have a value equal to yours. If after an apples to apples comparison, you are paying the same or less than other homeowners in your area, you will probably not be eligible to receive any property tax relief.
To find this out, you will need to determine your home’s "market value" according to the taxing authority. For example, the common level ratio in Montgomery County, PA through June 30, 2013 is 1.61. So, if your home in Montgomery County has a County Assessment of $200,000 (the assessment is on your property tax bill), then the current perceived market value is $322,000 ($200,000 x 1.61).
After you find the market value, compare it to the sales price of comparable homes that have recently sold in your area to see if the values match. Adjustments may need to be made for features of the sold listings that differ from yours. But in the end, if you find that the true market value of your home is significantly lower than the property tax assessor’s perceived market value, then you should proceed with a property tax appeal.
Property tax appeal forms are at the Montgomerty County Board of Assessment Appeals website, or by clicking on this link: [Application to Appeal a Property Assessment]. There is a fee to have your appeal reviewed, so make sure you have done your homework and can substantiate your appeal.
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