Minnesota homeowners are likely to have received a “notice of valuation” statement from their assessor’s office, which determines how much they’ll pay in property taxes for the upcoming year. With double-digit gains in home prices over the years, the real estate properties might have become a problem for household budgets, and many have been forced to sell their homes to move to smaller places, or even to other states.
Some homeowners may be confused about the value of their homes due to the current slowdown in sales and increased home prices. Hennepin County Assessor, Joshua Hoogland, stated that calls to his office more than tripled last year. Property assessment is used to determine the value of a home for tax purposes, not the sale price. The state wants to ensure property owners pay their fair share of taxes. But, what happens when you think your real estate property is over-priced, and you are paying more property taxes than you should be? There are ways to take action on that and save money.
What to Do When Your Property Taxes Are Way Too High and How to Lower Them
City or county assessors determine the value of a property using various factors such as market conditions, neighborhood location, and the condition of the house. Assessors also physically inspect each property at least once every five years. That helps these officials to keep track on the market behavior and the correct values for the properties.
Appraisals are different from assessments, and their methodology is not the same. Property taxes in the Twin Cities ranked at the middle, and house prices rising does not necessarily mean that an assessment will increase too. Homeowners should care about their property valuation, even if their property taxes are being escrowed by their mortgage servicers.
How to Appeal Your Property Assessment to Lower Your Taxes
If you believe that the assessed value of your property is too high, and you are paying too much in property taxes, you have the right to appeal the assessment. First, you need to understand the process. Before appealing, it is important to understand the process and the deadlines involved. Contact your local tax assessor’s office to learn about the process and the necessary documentation required. Then, gather all the evidence you can, that includes all relevant information that supports your claim. For example, recent sales of similar properties in your area, property inspections and assessments, and any other relevant data that shows the value of your property is lower than the assessed value.
The next step is to fill an appeal. Once you have all the necessary evidence, file an appeal with the tax assessor’s office. Follow the guidelines provided by your local jurisdiction and provide all the supporting documentation. After a few days, or weeks (or months, depending on your local office’s speed) tou may be asked to attend a hearing to present your case. This is your opportunity to explain why you believe the assessed value is too high and present your evidence to support your claim.
If you get a positive answer, ask an accountant or lawyer how to negotiate. In some cases, you may be able to talk terms with the assessor’s office to come to a lower assessed value. Be prepared to present a strong case and discuss in good faith and a friendly manner.