If you just got an unpleasant surprise when you opened your Brookline property tax assessment notice, you’re not alone. It is not unusual for property owners to see substantial increases in their property tax bills because of home value increases, boundary shifts, and other changes. The great news is there are things you can do related to an unfair property assessment increase. If the increase is really significant, this may give you cause for objecting to it, specifically if it seems out of line with other properties in your area.
Despite the fact that objecting to a property assessment increase may seem stressful, it’s more common than you believe. Approximately 20% to 40% of property owners can successfully lower their property tax bills by objecting to their property assessment, saving a lot of money in the process. Hereinafter, we’ll talk about how to object to a property assessment increase and perhaps reduce your property tax bill for the following year.
Step 1: Gather Evidence
If you perceive your tax assessment has increased by mistake, your initial step will be to contact your tax assessor and have them explain how they determined your property’s value. The increase may be due to something as plain as an assessor inputting the incorrect square footage or the wrong number of bedrooms for your property. If the explanation for the increase isn’t clearly visible, you will need to execute various additional research. It would help if you tried to identify a few comparable properties that recently sold in your neighborhood. If they sold for a lot less than your property assessment, that may 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 may look different from county to county. That is exactly why you’ll need to be certain to look up the appeals procedure for your precise location. You can get this information on the county website or the tax assessor’s website. You may be able to download the forms needed to file an appeal from their sites. Pay particular attention to dates or timeframes. You should file an appeal within 90 days in many places, sometimes though that number falls to as low as 30 days in other counties. Moreover, several locations accept appeals within a very specific window of time. To ensure you are using your time efficiently and to increase your chances of success, be sure to follow the procedure exactly as it is written.
Step 3: File and Argue Your Case
Whenever you have the documents prepared and have included your evidence, it’s time to file your appeal with the county. Again, see to it to follow the process as outlined on the county or tax assessor’s website. You may be required to pay a small filing fee; make certain to do so by using an approved method. You should then have a notification whenever a hearing on your appeal has been scheduled. Ensure to attend the hearing, or if you can’t go in person, have a representative go in your place. Your appeal won’t be considered if you don’t show up for the hearing. Have any required documents and copies; you’ll have your opportunity to argue your case and, if fortunate, have your property assessment adjusted to more accurately reflect the current value.
Objecting to your property assessment increase can help rental property owners keep their expenses under control. But really, it does take time, and there are many steps involved that you need to know and follow specifically to increase your chances of success. If you’d want to have Brookline property management professionals by your side to aid you to maximize your rental income, call Real Property Management Boston. We offer countless 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 617-522-0099 today!
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