Sometimes a Lexington property tax assessment notice can give us quite a shock. Most property owners often see a significant increase in their property tax bills because of home value increases, boundary shifts, and other changes. The good thing is that there is something you can do about an unfair property assessment increase. A very significant increase may give you grounds for objecting to it, especially if it is clearly not at par with other properties within the same area.
Objecting to a property assessment increase is actually pretty common, though it can seem nerve-wracking. There are around 20% to 40% of property owners who have successfully lowered their property tax bills when they objected to their property assessment. In what follows, we’ll discuss how to object to a property assessment increase and possibly lower your property tax bill for the upcoming year.
Step 1: Gather Evidence
If you suspect your tax assessment has increased by mistake, you have to contact your tax assessor first and ask them to explain how they determined your property’s value. The increase could have been caused by the assessor erroneously inputting the incorrect square footage or the wrong number of bedrooms for your property. In case the reason for the increase is not that evident, you might need to do additional research. Comparing similar recently-sold properties in your area can be helpful. If these properties sold for 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
Objecting to a property assessment will be different from one county to another. Hence, you need to look up the appeals procedure for your specific location. The county website or the tax assessor’s website is likely to contain this information. From these sites, you could download the forms you need to file an appeal. Pay particular attention to dates or timeframes. Most places give you 90 days within which to file your appeal, yet some give as little as 30 days. Also, some locations accept appeals within a very specific window of time. Make sure you use your time efficiently and follow the procedures to the letter to increase your chances of success.
Step 3: File and Argue Your Case
When all your documents have been prepared and have included your evidence, it is time to file your appeal with the county. Again, be sure you are following the exact process stated on the county or tax assessor’s website. Pay any associated filing fees using an approved method. Once you have completed all the steps, you will receive a notification for your scheduled appeal hearing. It is important that you attend the hearing, or if you can’t go in person, send a representative in your place. Your appeal will be rejected if you do not show up for the hearing. Bring complete documents and required copies. You will be given a chance to argue your case and, if you are successful, you can have your property assessment adjusted to reflect a more accurate current value.
Objecting to your property assessment increase can help rental property owners like you keep expenses under control. But it can take up a lot of your time, not counting the many steps you have to meticulously follow to improve your chances of success. If you’d like Lexington property management professionals to assist you in making the most of your rental income, contact Real Property Management Commonwealth. 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 617-299-2342 today!
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