Have you been shocked by what you see in your Hampden property tax assessment notice? You are not alone. Most property owners often see a significant increase in their property tax bills because of home value increases, boundary shifts, and other changes. When the property assessment increase seems unfair, you can actually do something about it. A very significant increase may give you grounds for objecting to it, especially if it is clearly not at par with other properties within the same area.
While objecting to a property assessment increase seems scary, it is common. Around 20 to 40% of property owners have been able to lower their property tax bills by objecting to their property assessment. This has saved them a lot of money. This article will discuss how to object to a property assessment increase and the possibility of lowering your property tax bill for the upcoming year.
Step 1: Gather Evidence
If you suspect your tax assessment has increased by mistake, you have to contact your tax assessor first and ask them to explain how they determined your property’s value. The increase could have been caused by the assessor erroneously inputting the incorrect square footage or the wrong number of bedrooms for your property. If the reason for the increase cannot be identified immediately, you might have to do more research. Comparing similar recently-sold properties in your area can be helpful. If the selling price for these properties is a lot less than your property assessment, that may be solid grounds for your objection. Be sure to check your local laws and regulations.
Step 2: Look Up the Appeals Process
Each county may have its own ways of objecting to a property assessment. For this reason, you need to look up the appeals procedure for your specific location. Your county website or tax assessor’s website will likely have this information. The forms needed to file the appeal can usually be found on their sites as well. Pay particular attention to dates or timeframes. In most counties, you must file an appeal within 90 days. In other places, this can be as short as 30 days. Some locations also only accept appeals within a specific period of time. It helps to follow the procedure to the letter for more efficient use of your time as well as to increase your chances of success.
Step 3: File and Argue Your Case
As soon as you have ready all your documents and evidence, it’s time to file your appeal. Again, make sure you follow everything on the county or tax assessor’s website. Be sure to pay the filing fee through an approved method. After this, you should receive a notification when a hearing on your appeal has been scheduled. It is mandatory that you attend the hearing, or that you send a representative if you cannot go in person. The county won’t consider your appeal if you miss the hearing. Make sure to have all documents and copies on hand. If you successfully argue your case, you can then have your property assessment adjusted to reflect the accurate current value of your property.
Objecting to your property assessment increase can help rental property owners like you keep expenses under control. It takes time though, and there are many steps you need to know and follow to make sure your appeal is successful. If you’d like Hampden property management professionals to assist you in making the most of your rental income, contact Real Property Management Acadia. 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 207-561-7482 today!
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