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Has Your Property Tax Assessment Increased Recently

New Bedford Property Tax Appeal on a Desk with a GavelHave you opened your New Bedford property tax assessment notice and gotten the shock of your life? You are not alone. A lot of 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 you can do something when you get an unfair property assessment increase. A significant increase can be sufficient grounds for objecting to it, especially when compared to other properties in your area.

While objecting to a property assessment increase seems daunting, it is a common occurrence. About 20 to 40% of property owners can lower their property tax bills by objecting to their property assessment, saving themselves a lot 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 the reason for the increase is not instantly evident, you can do further research. Comparing your property to similar ones that have recently been sold in your area can be helpful. If their selling prices are 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

Keep in mind that objecting to a property assessment will look a bit different 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 easily be found on the county website or the tax assessor’s website. You can also download the needed forms for your appeal from their sites. Take note of significant dates or timeframes. You need to file an appeal within 90 days in most places, although in other counties, that can be as low as 30 days. Also, some counties accept appeals only within a very specific window of time. Make sure you use your time efficiently by following the procedure exactly as it’s written. This will also improve your chances of success.

Step 3: File and Argue Your Case

Once your documents and evidence are prepared, you can then file your appeal with the county. Again, make sure you are careful to follow the process as stated in the county or tax assessor’s website. Pay the filing fee through an approved method, too. When this is done, you should then receive a notification for when the 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. Your appeal will not be considered if you -or your representative- do not show up for the hearing. Make sure you have complete documents and copies; you can then argue your case and, if successful, ask to have your property assessment adjusted to reflect the accurate value of your property.

Objecting to property assessment increases is one of the ways rental property owners keep their expenses under control. However, it can take a lot of your time, and there are many steps to be followed precisely to increase your chances of success. The New Bedford property management professionals of Real Property Management Success are ready to help you maximize your rental income. 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 908-239-7579 today!

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