Analyze Property Taxes Now to Save Later
One way to get through difficult economic times is to find ways to cut costs.
For property owners, often money can be saved by analyzing your property taxes to determine if your property is fairly assessed. If you believe it is assessed too high, there is a process to contest the assessment and, if successful, lower your property taxes.
Most people are unaware a tax cycle begins anew for property taxes on Jan. 1 of each year. Most people only begin to think about property taxes when they receive their tax bill. If you want to investigate whether you can reduce your property taxes, it pays to start early and not wait until the last minute.
The property tax system is complicated, but if you look at it from a big picture point of view, it is understandable.
First, your local governments pass budgets which will state in part how much money they need from the taxpayers. The County Clerk takes all the information from the units of local government and ultimately determines tax rates across the county. Literally, there is a tax rate developed for every parcel of property in the county. The only way for the average taxpayer to impact this part of the property tax equation is to urge the varying taxing bodies that represent them to spend less money.
The second part of this equation is the valuation of land that lies within the taxing districts. The township assessor determines the value of each parcel of property within their township. Their job, simply put, is to make sure each parcel is fairly assessed. For your property to be fairly assessed, it has to be fairly valued. As we all know, values in real estate have been fluctuating rapidly. What you paid for your property a number of years ago may have little bearing on what it is worth today. …