Sometimes a Lakeland property tax assessment notice can give us quite a shock. A lot of property owners see significant increases in their property tax bills due to home value increases, boundary shifts, and other changes. The good thing is that you can do something when you get an unfair property assessment increase. Significant increases are grounds for objecting to it, especially when it is not at par with other properties in your area.
Objecting to a property assessment increase will seem daunting, but it is more common than you think. About 20% to 40% of property owners can successfully lower property tax bills by objecting to property assessments, saving themselves a good amount of money in the process. Here are some guidelines on how to object to a property assessment increase and possibly lower next year’s property tax bill.
Step 1: Gather Evidence
If you think your tax assessment has increased by mistake, your first step will be to contact your tax assessor and have them explain how they determined your property’s value. The increase could have been caused by the assessor erroneously inputting the incorrect square footage or the wrong number of bedrooms for your property. If the reason for the increase cannot be easily identified, you need to do more research. Comparing similar recently-sold properties in your area can be helpful. If they sold for a lower price than your property assessment, that could be solid grounds for your objection. Be sure to check your local laws and regulations.
Step 2: Look Up the Appeals Process
The process of objecting to a property assessment could differ from county to county. This is why you have to look up the appeals procedure for your particular location. This information can easily be found on the county website or the tax assessor’s website. From these sites, you could download the forms you need to file an appeal. Pay particular attention to dates or timeframes. In most places, you have to file an appeal within 90 days, but in some counties, that number can be as low as 30 days. Also, some locations accept appeals within a very specific window of time. Make sure you use your time efficiently by following the procedure exactly as it’s written. This will also improve your chances of success.
Step 3: File and Argue Your Case
When you have all the documents ready and have included your evidence, you can now file your appeal with the county. Again, be sure you are following the exact process stated on the county or tax assessor’s website. Also, pay the filing fee using an approved method. Once you have completed all the steps, you will receive a notification for your scheduled appeal hearing. Make sure to show up for the hearing, or send an authorized representative in your place. If you don’t show up for the hearing, your appeal won’t be considered. Bring complete documents and required copies. You will be given a chance to argue your case and, if you are successful, you can have your property assessment adjusted to reflect a more accurate current value.
Objecting to property assessment increases is one of the ways rental property owners keep their expenses under control. However, it can take a lot of your time, and there are many steps to be followed precisely to increase your chances of success. If you need Lakeland property management professionals to help you, you can contact Real Property Management Empire. We offer many 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 813-867-7300 today!
We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.