As we head into the beginning of 2014, a question I usually get this time of year from clients who have either bought homes or are selling homes is, “How to I change or fight my real estate tax assessment?” They may think the assessment is either too high or too low. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as just calling the assessor in your city and town telling them your taxes are too high. They have specific scripts they’re going to give you on why they can’t change your taxes, and they’re pretty good at it!

What you actually have to do is make a formal adjustment and this is allowed in the beginning of the year. Most municipalities require you to do this before April and in some cases, March or May. What you want to do is call them and tell them you want to make a formal adjustment to your tax assessment. You will need to bring an independent appraisal that shows your tax assessment is too high or too low or some comparable sales of similar homes in your neighborhood. As a client watching this video, this is something we can help you with here at the Roth Team.

Speaking with personal experience, when you go into the formal meeting you have to show the city assessor the comparable sales. Another good basis for you is that if you have recently purchased the home within the last year or two, you can use the purchase price that you paid for the home as the basis. However you will still need comparable sales or an independent bank appraisal.

By doing that, you will get your tax assessment adjusted to today’s value which could decrease your taxes if the assessment goes down or raise your taxes if your assessment goes up (which I wouldn’t recommend). Again, to do this you want to make a formal adjustment with the local municipality.

If you have any questions about this, please give us a call at (262) 797-6453. Thanks and have a great day!