A major expense for homeowners is the amount of their property taxes within their mortgage loan. This is a common concern, especially when trying to make mortgage payments each month. Luckily there are ways to lower your taxes and save money each year.
Let’s take a look at five tips for reducing your property taxes, saving you the most money on your home long-term.
5 Tips for Lowering Property Taxes
Property taxes can be a burden for many homeowners, but there are ways to reduce the amount you owe. Understanding the process of property tax appeals, deductions, and exemptions can help you lower your property taxes. Lowering your property taxes can help save money on the entirety of your home loan.
1. Know the Value of Your Home
The first step in reducing your property taxes is to know the value of your home. Most states use an assessed value, which is typically lower than the actual market value of the home. However, if you believe that your home’s assessed value is too high, you may have grounds for appealing it. You’ll need to research comparable properties in the area and provide evidence that supports your claim when filing an appeal.
Knowing the value of your home can also support the lowering of your property taxes in the following ways:
- Check for Errors in Your Property Tax Bill
The first step toward saving money on your property taxes is to make sure the bill is accurate. Sometimes, mistakes can be made by local agencies that can result in an inflated bill. It’s important to review your bill carefully and look for any errors or discrepancies that could affect the amount you owe. If you find any mistakes, reach out to your local assessor’s office right away and explain the issue so it can be corrected.
- Check Your Property Card Regularly
Checking your property card regularly—at least once per year—can help ensure that you’re not overpaying in property taxes due to inaccurate information about your home’s value or other data errors. If any discrepancies are found, contact the appropriate authorities immediately so they can make any necessary adjustments. This could result in an immediate reduction in what you owe this year and save you from having to pay more than necessary in future years as well.
2. Appeal Your Property Tax Bill
Even if everything looks accurate on your property card, it always pays to appeal your assessment annually. Doing so gives you the best chance of getting a reduced tax bill each year. This challenges assumptions about how much money you should be paying based on current market conditions and trends in nearby neighborhoods.
If you believe your property tax bill is too high, it may be worth appealing the assessment with your local assessor’s office. You can usually submit a request for an appeal online or in person at the assessor’s office in your county or town. Depending on the outcome of your appeal, it may be possible to reduce or eliminate some of the taxes owed on your home.
In addition to researching comparable homes, make sure to document any repairs or upgrades made throughout the year before submitting an appeal. These improvements could significantly lower what you owe come tax time.
Every year, millions of homeowners file appeals to have their property taxes lowered. The appeal process is fairly simple and can result in significant savings if successful. If you feel like your home is being over-assessed, then filing an appeal might be a good option for you.
3. Take Advantage of Exemptions and Credits
Many states offer exemptions and credits designed to help homeowners lower their property tax bills. For example, some states offer exemptions for veterans and senior citizens that can reduce their tax burden significantly. Some states also allow homeowners to deduct their mortgage interest payments from their total tax bill each year.
Additionally, many states provide homestead exemptions that allow homeowners to reduce their taxable value of their homes by up to 50%. It’s important to do your research into local laws and regulations to make sure that you are taking advantage of any deductions that are available in your area. Be sure to contact your local assessor’s office for more information about available exemptions and credits.
4. Pay Your Taxes Early and Avoid Penalties
Some local governments will offer discounts if you pay all or part of your property taxes early each year. So it literally pays to keep an eye out for these deals from time-to-time. This could be a great way to save money over time if you have the financial flexibility and capacity to pay ahead. Just remember, though—make sure you read all terms and conditions carefully before taking advantage of any early payment discounts as some restrictions may apply!
Some jurisdictions will impose penalties if property taxes go unpaid or late payments occur. This can add up quickly and significantly reduce the amount of savings from other measures taken above against one’s property taxes. To avoid this situation, it’s important that homeowners stay organized and pay their taxes on time each year so that they don’t incur any additional fees or fines as a result of late or nonpayment.
5. Negotiate with Your Local Assessor’s Office
Lastly, don’t underestimate the power of negotiation. If you feel like your property tax bill is too high, consider reaching out directly to the assessor’s office. Speaking with someone who can work with you on finding a solution or alternative payment plan, works better for everyone involved. Negotiation never hurts—and it might just help you save some money along the way.
Save Money on Your Home with Lower Property Taxes
No one likes paying more than they have to—especially when it comes to their property taxes. Fortunately, there are steps homeowners can take when it comes time for their annual assessment to help them get cash back.
Lowering your property taxes doesn’t have to be complicated, with a little bit of research and knowledge about how the system works, it’s possible to save money on what would otherwise be a large expense each year.