Four ways to reduce your property tax bills – from guiding assessors to making an appeal

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Property tax is getting costlier every year.

The median property tax for a single-family home in 2020 was $3,719, a 4% increase from a year ago, according to atom data solutions,

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Property taxes are based on the value of your home and your state’s tax rate.

Property taxes are based on the value of your home and your state’s tax rate.

Since the median home value has grown by about 2% every month in 2020 and 2021, according to The Motley FoolIt’s no surprise that taxes are getting more expensive.

Although your property tax rate can vary dramatically depending on your stateMost homeowners are seeing the same upward trend.

Property taxes are an unavoidable part of homeownership, but there are some things you can do to reduce your tax burden.

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1. Limit Big Changes

Any change in the value of your home, perceived or actual, will affect your tax bill.

Large additions such as a pool, patio, or deck are some of the most common home improvements that lead to higher property taxes.

Even smaller, cosmetic improvements can have an impact on your taxes.

While you shouldn’t neglect your property in an effort to reduce your tax bill, be mindful of the fact that the value of your home partly comes down to subjective valuation.

And if you know when your appraiser is coming in ahead of time, consider holding off on any DIY projects you plan.

Home improvements can provide a tax increase when you plan to sell your home, but your tax costs will increase in the meantime.

2. Connect with your evaluator

When it’s time to get your home appraised, make sure you’re involved.

You can choose not to let the appraiser in, but it will usually result in more taxes than they show you.

To make sure your assessment is as fair and accurate as possible, be honest with your evaluator about the positives and negatives.

You know your wealth better than anyone, for better and for worse.

Tag along during the evaluation and indicate the high and low so they have all the information they need to make a proper assessment.

If you recently upgraded, your appraiser may focus more on major upgrades than minor shortcomings.

3. Ask for Discounts

Some of the most famous property tax exemptions have been extended to religious and government properties.

But there are exemptions available to millions of homeowners that can significantly reduce their tax bills.

Exemptions vary from state to state, but some of the most common ones you can claim include:

  • senior citizen discount
  • military veteran discount
  • disability exemption
  • Homestead exemption, usually available for taxes on your primary residence

You’ll have to research what’s available in your state, but claiming the exemption could save you thousands on property taxes.

4. File an Appeal

If you believe your home was overvalued and you are paying more property taxes as a result, you can appeal.

30% to 60% of table properties in the country are overvalued, according to National Taxpayers Union Foundation,

You can file an appeal through your local tax office.

This is still a last option for many homeowners, however, as the cost of getting an attorney to help with the appeal can be prohibitive.

If you go through this, your home will be reevaluated by a board that will determine whether to reduce the value of your property.

Alternatively, you can hire an independent appraiser for a second opinion, and use that to reduce your appraisal value.

Both options can be expensive up front, but save thousands over time if you believe your home was worth more.

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Certain low-income households are eligible for up to $3,590 in property tax refunds this year – Get more knowledge,

And if you have a mortgage, learn about its potential benefits. pay it early,

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