Property tax assessments assist in deciding how much property taxes you’ll have to pay. If your taxes have increased significantly, you may be able to reduce your tax liability by appealing your assessment. However, you must demonstrate that your property is worth less than the assessor initially predicted.
Understanding how your municipality determines your property tax is crucial. They might be calculated differently in two neighboring towns, thus confusing locals.
Two highly significant numbers—the tax rate and the current market value of your property—are used to compute property taxes. A municipality determines its unique tax rate, commonly called a millage or mill rate, depending on the sum required to provide significant services. The frequency at which taxation bodies reset their tax rates is governed by state law. Some states alter them yearly, while others alter them in irregular intervals every five years.
With that said, let’s look at how appealing property tax assessment in Los Angeles works.
- Understand the rules
Local governments send assessment notifications to homes in the first few months of the year, with the deadline for contesting the value varying. It’s essential to check the community’s property assessment practices. Regular house values reassessment may not immediately increase your tax bill.
- Check for the property tax breaks you are eligible for
The property tax bill should include eligible discounts, tax rates, assessment information, and payment plans. Some states allow homeowners to exclude a portion of their primary residence’s worth from taxes, depending on income or status. Homestead exemptions, deferrals, and freezes are tax benefits. Rebates and other cuts require application and justification of eligibility. Contact your state’s Department of Taxation or visit their website for more information.
- Check the comparable
Comparing your property to similar ones in the area can help determine if you have a strong case. View property cards and search for recent sale prices on websites like Zillow or Realtor.com, as recent sales may have occurred after your assessor’s assessment.
- Compile evidence and strengthen your case
You may have grounds for appealing property tax in Los Angeles if you discover that your assessed value is significantly higher than that of numerous homes similar to yours or if the selling prices of neighboring homes indicate that the value of your property is less than expected.
However, even if your evaluation is in the middle of the pack, it could not be accurate. Your home may have a leaky basement or poor grading that prevents you from having a garden. The assessment should be based on your home’s market worth; if your property has problems that would deter buyers, now is the time to address them.
- Consider hiring a third-party
While some homeowners choose to do the appeal themselves, others may pay a small fee to a third party who will handle the appeal on their behalf.
Get a professional to perform the groundwork if you don’t have the time or the stomach to fight the battle yourself. A qualified appraiser can offer the best proof of the value of your property. Find a certified national appraiser if your town permits outside valuations and you’re willing to spend.