While the news seems to indicate that property values will soon (maybe) start dropping, for now, property owners are stuck with their exorbitant county tax bills. However, if you do not agree with your property tax bill, you can appeal it.
How do I appeal it?
Every county has different specific procedures on how to appeal your real estate property tax bill. However, each county will outline the appeal procedures in their tax assessment notification. Usually, you can file an appeal online. Pay attention to the deadlines on the notification though because you must file your appeal before that deadline in the manner proscribed by the notice.
The only issue at a property tax appeal hearing is the property’s value. This means that you are arguing that the value of your home is different from what was assessed by the county tax assessor. Most argue about the actual value, but depending on the circumstances, you can argue about the special or equalized taxable value as well.
Substantiating your argued value is key. This means providing evidence regarding the value you believe is correct. This can be done with pictures, quotes for repairs and even, alternative appraisals. For example, if your home was recently damaged or is in disrepair, you can bring photographs of the damage and repair cost quotes to argue that the value should be reduced.
If you are submitting an alternate appraisal report, the appraiser themselves should be present as a witness. You can also use yourself as a witness to explain issues, answer questions and give context to the evidence. If you are using witnesses though, be sure you coordinate with them to be at the hearing.
For our Woodstock, Connecticut, readers, the key takeaway is that you can fight your real estate tax assessment. You just need to be prepared.