Over taxation can happen after an assessment of your property’s value is done. It is not an uncommon occurrence. Many people do not know their properties are being overvalued or how to calculate tax according to their property’s value. So, what should you do in case an assessment tax of your property was incorrectly done?
This is where writing an appeal letter comes into play. If you believe that a tax assessment has been done incorrectly on your property, an appeal letter is what will help you solve the issue. When you write the letter, no one can claim that they did not receive a notification, especially if it is in writing. But one copy is not enough. You should photocopy and keep some for the appealing process. In this article, we will explain what a property tax assessment is, guide you on how to write an effective property tax assessment appeal letter, how and when to submit it, and its purpose.
Property tax assessment is what determines the value of your property. State governments use your assessment as the basis for the calculation of your annual property tax bill. Assessments are generally done on a specific date each year and are often based on current sales of similar properties in your area. Taxes from property owners provide much of the revenue for governments. They pay for education, parks and recreation, government workers’ wages and pensions, transport facilities, municipal law enforcement, and fire services. Although, some properties are exempt from this tax assessment when they are used for religious purposes.
As a property owner, the revenue generated from the tax you pay is the government’s main source of income. The main purpose of property tax assessment is to help you know your estate’s market value and how much tax you should pay. The revenue generated from property tax is used by governments to finance schools, hospitals, parks, government staff e.t.c.
What is a Property Tax Assessment Appeal Letter?
Now that you know what property tax assessment is, it is time to define what a property tax assessment appeal letter is. A property tax assessment appeal letter is a letter you send if you believe that your property assessment for tax purposes has not been done correctly. Your appeal should be done in writing, and you should also have copies kept so that your case won’t be ignored or contested.
Reasons to Submit a Property Tax Assessment Appeal Letter
When you review a valuation notice and see that your property’s valuation amount is incorrect, for example, it may be too high. You can choose to pay the increased amount if you feel you don’t want to go through an appeal process. However, your best option is to appeal that valuation and lower the tax amount. At times you may find the assessors’ assessment to be fair and no appeal needed. But you may find some mistakes and reasons to appeal. In this section, we have explained some of the reasons to submit a property assessment appeal letter.
First, property owned by someone else might be included in your valuation. You might have relocated, and a change of ownership occurred, and the assessor forgot to update his records. Therefore, it may still show that you own the said property, and you are required to pay the taxes. Appealing this situation will notify the assessor.
Also, your assets might be under-depreciated by an assessor. Depreciation is the decrease in an assets’ value over time. Under depreciation is brought about by the increasing prices of replacement assets. When an asset depreciates, you pay less tax. Therefore, when an assessor under-depreciates your assets, you might pay a higher tax amount than you normally do. An appeal letter is necessary in this case to notify the assessor of the under-appreciation that has occurred. The assessment undertaken might include property you no longer own. You might have discarded or sold them. If the sold assets are still in the assessors’ record, they will be included in the assessment leading to a higher tax. If this happens, you need to write an appeal letter to the assessor’s office to inform them that they have included properties that are no longer yours. They will then update their records and make the necessary adjustments.
The assessment undertaken might include property you no longer own. You might have discarded or sold them. If the sold assets are still in the assessors’ record, they will be included in the assessment leading to a higher tax. If this happens, you need to write an appeal letter to the assessor’s office to inform them that they have included properties that are no longer yours. They will then update their records and make the necessary adjustments.
During an assessment, the assessor may have mistakenly valued your property twice. This could have been due to a writing error in your name or address. This double valuation will lead to paying double tax, which will be costly to you. Sending an appeal letter to the assessor’s office will resolve this issue.
Another reason is your property may be valued higher than the other properties in your area. For example, let’s say you have a butchery, but there are also other butcheries in your area. During property valuation, an assessor values your butchery 30% higher than the others. An appeal letter will be necessary for this situation.
When to Submit Property Tax Appeal Letters
From the time you receive your valuation notice as a property owner, you have about a month or 45 days to send a property tax appeal letter.Although, in You should send your appeal letter early to buy yourself time to research and confirm that the value is too high. If you find that the value is correct, you may withdraw your appeal.
For each account, you must file a separate completed petition. The filing fee will be $30.00 per account. You can submit your appeal without paying the filing fee, but you will have 20 days from the notification date to send the payment, or the appeal will be rejected. Appeals shall be submitted by letter or in-person only. No requests via e-mail or fax are recognized.
How to Appeal the Property Tax Assessment On Your Home
You can reduce your property tax by appealing the value applied to your home by an assessor. The “assessed value” is what is used to determine how much tax you owe. One way to lower property tax is to prove that your property is worth less than its valuation. You can do your initial research online or by calling your real estate agent. Here’s how to appeal the property tax bill, step by step:
You can start by researching what to do to complete the process. Researching can be more time-consuming than the actual appealing process. Ensure that you build a strong case after doing your research. The appealing process varies slightly from state to state. In some states, you will have up to 45 days to build a case, and in others, you have up to a year.
Transaction privilege tax will help you build a strong cas in a shorter time as it helps with data entry and any information needed to back your case.
Therefore, you should call your local tax assessor’s office to get information on the appealing process in your area. Normally, the state is required by law to send you the valuation letter. If you don’t receive the notice, you should file a property tax return form.
After you receive the letter and disagree with your property’s valuation, you can file an appeal. Some states like Texas, California, and Georgia, require an official notification form and because they do not accept appeal letters. When you write an appeal letter, give a reason why you are writing the appeal. You could start by including a phrase like “this is a formal notice of protest.” Include the numbers that you find to be incorrect and your reasons for protesting. The first step is to send your appeal letter to the tax assessor’s office within 45 days of receiving the valuation letter.
First, you need a current assessment of your property. This could cost up to $400. Include the assessment values of properties around your area for comparison purposes. If you find that your home is valued higher than the others, then you have a good case to appeal.
The assessor will then get back to you to tell you if they either believe the original assessment was correct or if he/she will make an adjustment. If you still don’t agree with the assessment, you can appeal again. The assessor will then do further research and send you another letter afterward.
If you still disagree, you can arrange to meet with your area’s Board of Commissioners to present your case with the proof you have in person. A final judgment that cannot be disputed will be given.
Lastly, you will decide if the process was worth it by comparing the cost of getting an assessment done to your home versus what you might potentially save. If you spend a lot of money and end up saving nothing, then it wasn’t worth it. But if you think your case could lead to saving a lot in the end, you should go for it.
What Happens After You Send the Appeal Letter
Once you send an appeal letter, you will get a reply to verify that it has been received. The notification you get will give you a case number or an appeal number. Sometimes, it will also contain a set date and time for a hearing. The amount of time you get to bring your case together depends on the country.
Property Tax Assessment Appeal Letter Samples
Knowing the format of a property assessment tax appeal letter is important when you have a case to present. We have provided a sample below to give you an idea of what an appeal looks like.
P.0.BOX 2145- 00100
To the Board of Review,
I am writing this letter is to appeal my property tax assessment. The following information shows why my home is over-evaluated.
The property record that was sent to my home has three critical inconsistencies.
• I have a garage for two cars, not a garage for four vehicles as stated. Price of taxes 350,000/=
• I do not have 2,000 square feet of living space and not 3,100 square feet, as reported 500,000/= tax value
• I have not a board deck. Price of tax 200,000/=
My home is weakened by its structure, and its resale value is diminished.
• An external wall and the corresponding base, as not specified in the evaluation, are badly cracked. Price of tax 400,000/=
• The kitchen roof keeps leaking. Price of taxes 200,000/=
I call for a re-evaluation of my home’s value compared to two homes that have recently been sold on my lane. Both houses are similarly square, have identical age, and are renovated.
• Address House sold at 12,000,000/=
The data in this letter demonstrates clearly that my property taxes have been misunderstood. The evaluation indicates enhancements and updates which are not possible in my house. Also, my home’s worth does not surpass 12,000,000/=
I ask my tax estimate to be tailored to the information given. I would like to unofficially set up a meeting and discuss the situation or make a formal application. I can be reached at +76714345638 or [email protected]
Templates are there to guide you on what to include in letters when writing. They make the work easier for you, and you don’t have to write from scratch or memorize the format. We have made very easy to follow templates that are downloadable, and you can customize them according to your needs. Feel free to visit our website and check them out. You can even download them and give them a try.
Frequently Asked Questions
When a property is assessed, the owner is notified of the property’s value and the tax he/she needs to pay.
Appealing property taxes is important. Sometimes you might be successful, and your taxes will be reduced. However, if the assessment provided a correct value, it will prove to be costly in the end. But if you believe that you have enough proof for a strong case, you should appeal the assessment as it could save you money via tax reduction.
If you are a property owner, you may have come across this problem numerous times, but maybe you did not know how to appeal or did not know that your tax bill has increased. Knowing how to calculate property tax is vital if you want to overcome this problem. Assessors make mistakes unknowingly, leading to over-taxation of your property. The first step you should take in the appealing process is sending an appeal letter to the tax assessor’s office.
The assessor will then notify you if his original valuation of your property is correct or if he/she will make adjustments according to the proof you presented. If you still don’t agree with the decision, you can arrange a meeting with the tax board in your region for the final decision. This decision is final and cannot be disputed. The appealing process will be worth it if you win the case and your tax is reduced. However, if the assessment proves to be correct, you will be at a loss as you will spend a lot of money and save nothing in the end. We hope that this article will be helpful to you when you have a tax assessment to appeal.