If you have been shocked when you opened your Goose Creek property tax assessment notice, you are not alone. Property owners usually see significant increases in their property tax bills due to home value increases, boundary shifts, as well as other changes. What’s good is that you can do something 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.
While objecting to a property assessment increase seems scary, it is actually common. 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 tips on how to object to a property assessment increase and possibly lower your upcoming property tax bill.
Step 1: Gather Evidence
If you think your tax assessment has increased by mistake, your first step will be to contact your tax assessor and have them explain how they determined your property’s value. The increase could be as simple as an assessor’s error when encoding 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. Look for comparable properties in your area that have recently been sold. If they sold for a lower price than your property assessment, that could 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 needed forms for your appeal filing will also be downloadable from their sites. Pay particular attention to dates or timeframes. In most places, you have to file an appeal within 90 days, but in some counties, that number can be as low 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
When you have all the documents ready and have included your evidence, you can now file your appeal with the county. Remember to follow everything outlined on the county or tax assessor’s website. Also, pay the filing fee 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. If you don’t show up for the hearing, your appeal won’t be considered. Bring all required documents and copies; you will be given the chance to argue your case and, if successful, have your property assessment adjusted to accurately reflect your property’s current value.
Objecting to property assessment increases can help rental property owners keep expenses under control. However, it can take time and there are many steps you have to follow to increase your success rate. If you need the assistance of Goose Creek property management professionals to help maximize your rental income, call Real Property Management Charleston. 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 843-900-4061 today!
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