Property taxes aren't negotiable. The actual amount of property taxes owed on any type of real estate is fixed and isn't up for discussion with the corresponding tax authority. However, a real estate tax attorney might be able to negotiate details of any owed back-taxes when it comes to any assessed penalties and/or interest on those taxes. And, depending on the amount owed, this can really amount to a great deal of potential savings (over time).
Another area where a real estate attorney might be able to help is in appealing a local property value assessment, which is the main factor used in determining how much in local, state, and/or federal taxes one owes. As such, it's definitely worth exploring, given the following factors:
Assessing Your Assessment
Check to make sure there aren't easily identifiable mistakes in the notice of assessment. For example, if the assessment states that the size of the lot is two acres when it's actually half an acre; that's a very easy appeal to both submit and win, which would lower one's property taxes. If, however, it's largely accurate, but there might minor aspects that could be argued, it's probably worth discussing this with a real estate tax attorney for their opinion.
Decide whether or not an appeal would be worth the time, money, and effort required. If the assessment is estimated to be off by only $2,000 dollars but it would likely cost you $10,000 to fight it, it's probably not worth it. Also, if the appeal isn't very strong or the appeals process would be long and complicated, it might be simply easier to pay the taxes than to fight it.
Find comparable property examples of real estate assessments and be prepared to show how these support one's appeal. These must be materially similar properties, with different assessments, in order to show that one's own notice of assessment differs from these others. This can help to establish that one is entitled to relief, based on assessments of similar properties made by the same authority.
Present Your Case
Most property assessment authorities are more than willing to review their decisions and to amend them. Be aware of any filing deadlines or any appeal requirements, and make sure to conform to them.
If one's initial appeal is unsuccessful, it's usually possible to appeal one's appeal. This usually entails paying a modest fee to the corresponding appeals board, and representing one's case. Of course, there's no guarantee that one's appeal of a previously denied appeal will be accepted either. It completely depends on the merits of one's case as well as the strength of the arguments and evidence. However, if one truly feels that their appeal has merit, it can be worth filing a second appeal.
Reach out to a real estate tax attorney for more information.Share