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Property Tax Appeal Summary

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Property Tax Appeal Summary

Postby chicagotech » Wed Jun 28, 2017 9:37 pm

If you think your home's assessed value is too high, you can appeal the tax assessor's verdict -- either on your own or with the help of a third party who will handle the grievance process for you.

1. Reasons to Appeal
The typical bases or reasons for appeals are:
• The assessment of a subject property is based on a factual error (e.g., incorrect square footage).
• The assessment is greater than 1/3rd of the subject property’s recent sale price.
• The assessment is greater than 1/3rd of the subject property’s market value.
• The assessment of the subject property is higher than that of comparable properties.
• Matters of law.
The type of evidence required by the Board for each basis or reason for an appeal is specified on the Appeal (application) Form and discussed in Section IV of the Board’s Rules.
2. Read Your Assessment Letter
Local governments periodically assess all the real estate they tax. When your new assessment comes in the mail, it’ll list information about your property, such as lot size or a legal description, as well as the assessed value of your house and land.
Your property tax bill will usually be calculated by multiplying your home’s assessed value by the local tax rate, which can vary from town to town.
If you think your home’s assessment is higher than it should be, challenge it immediately. You generally have less than 30 days to do so, though each taxing authority sets its own timeline. Procedures are often outlined on the back of the letter.
3. Prepare and procedure
1) Decide if an Appeal is Worth Your Time
How much effort you decide to put into a challenge depends on the stakes. The median property tax paid in 2012, the latest available figure, was about $2,000. That’s about 1% of the roughly $200,000 median-value home.
Say you’re able to lower your assessed value by 15% to $170,000 and therefore save 15% on your property tax. That lowers your tax bill to about $1,700, a net savings of about $300.
In some parts of New York and Texas, for example, where tax rates can approach 3% of a home’s value, potential savings are greater. Ditto for communities with home prices well above the U.S. median.
2) Check the Data
Make sure the information about your home is correct. Is the number of bathrooms accurate? Number of fireplaces? How about the size of the lot? There’s a big difference between “0.3 acres” and “3.0 acres.” If any facts are wrong, then you may have a quick and easy challenge on your hands.
3) Get the “Comps”
Find three to five comparable properties — “comps” in real estate jargon — that have sold recently. Alternatively, check a website like realtor.com to find approximate values of comparable properties that are very similar to your own in terms of size, style, condition, and location. If you’re willing to shell out between $350 and $600, you can hire an appraiser to give you a professional opinion of your home’s value.
Once you identify comps, check the assessments on those properties. Most local governments maintain public databases. If yours doesn’t, seek help from a real estate agent or ask neighbors to share tax information. If the assessments on your comps are lower, you can argue yours is too high.
Even if the assessments are similar, if you can show that the comparable properties are superior to yours, you may have a case for relief based on equity. Maybe your neighbor added an addition while you were still struggling to clean up storm damage. In that case, the properties are no longer comparable.
4) Present your Case
Armed with your research, call your local assessor’s office. Most assessors are willing to discuss your assessment informally by phone. If not, or if you aren’t satisfied with the explanation, request a formal review.
Pay attention to deadlines and procedures. There’s probably a form to fill out and specific instructions for supporting evidence. A typical review, which usually doesn’t require you to appear in person, can take anywhere from one to three months. Expect to receive a decision in writing.
5) Appeal if You Don’t Like the Review
If the review is unsuccessful, you can usually appeal the decision to an independent board, with or without the help of a lawyer. You may have to pay a modest filing fee, perhaps $10 to $25. If you end up before an appeals board, your challenge could stretch as long as a year, especially in large jurisdictions that have a high number of appeals.
6) Other considerations
• The appeals board can only lower your real estate assessment, not the rate at which you’re taxed.
• There’s a chance, albeit slight, that your assessment could be raised, thus increasing your property taxes.
• A reduction in your assessment right before you put your house on the market could hurt the sale price.
An easier route to savings might lie in determining if you qualify for property tax exemptions based on age, disability, military service, or other factors.
This article provides general information about tax laws and consequences, and shouldn’t be relied on as tax or legal advice applicable to particular transactions or circumstances. Consult a tax pro for such advice.
4. Hearing Type
Appellants also may choose the form of hearing for their case. A hearing can be by letter, phone or in person, respectively options “1,” “2” and “3” on the Appeal (application) Form. If by letter, the Board decides the case on the basis of the written evidence submitted by the appellant and local township assessor’s office. The appeal by letter is the easiest form of appeal, because the appellant (and any representative and/or witness) does not need to remember to call nor travel to the Board on a designated date and time.
While any appeal may be heard by letter, two kinds of residential appeals accompanied by required written evidence are particularly well-suited for review by letter. One kind is an appeal based on a Subject Property’s Recent Sale Price and accompanied by a signed Settlement Statement or signed HUD-1, MLS listing history and the recorded Illinois Real Estate Transfer Declaration (PTAX-203). These documents typically are among the closing documents for the sale of a subject property or are available from the real estate broker involved in the transaction. (See the Board’s Rules, Section IV B, for further information.) The second kind of appeal that is well-suited for review by letter, is based on Fair Cash Value and accompanied by an ad valorem appraisal of a subject property, valuing the subject property as of the lien date (January 1st) of the current assessment year. (See the Board’s Rules, Section IVC, for further details.) Aside from the above mentioned instances, any well prepared case based upon comparable properties can also handled by the Board of Review without a hearing.
If the hearing is by phone or in person, the hearing begins with the swearing-in of parties to the case. Appellants and/or their attorney give evidence and testimony. The Township Assessor’s Office presents evidence and testimony. The Board and parties may ask questions. Parties to the case may provide rebuttal testimony. Board members deliberate between or among.
5. Websites and Tools
The below websites provide many important information, forms, schedule and Comparable Search Tool.

Property Tax Appeal Board http://www.ptab.illinois.gov/
The Property Tax Appeal Board (PTAB) is a quasi-judicial body made up of five Members and a professional staff which serves the Board. The Board was ...

2017 Filing Deadlines | Lake County, IL http://www.lakecountyil.gov
Learn when assessment rolls are published and when the final filing dates are ... The volume of appeals filed can affect the date that the decisions are mailed.
Prior to filing a formal appeal to the Board, the Board strongly encourages property owners to visit their local township assessor’s office to discuss their concerns. In two types of appeals,
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Re: Property Tax Appeal Summary

Postby blin » Thu Jul 13, 2017 5:21 pm

You can have a third party to help you. These third parties are generally attorneys or independent companies with appraisers on staff. They'll file the appeal on your behalf, usually on a contingency basis. But it could be very expensive - 40% to 50% of the year's tax savings.
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