Property taxes are no laughing matter. At their worst, they leave some homeowners responsible for paying a local government more than ten thousand dollars a year. When these types of property taxes rise some adults decide that it’s better to simply pack and move.
Don’t let property taxes force you out of your home
That’s why it’s important to understand how property taxes are calculated in an area you’re thinking about moving to. For example, are property taxes based on the sale price of a house, the actual value of the property or based on another set rate?
Before you buy a house, find out how heavily a local government depends on property tax income to meet its budget. Also, find out how often this same local government raises property taxes. You could learn a lot about local taxes like property and sales tax by attending council and local chamber of commerce meetings.
If people don’t raise the issue, ask questions that lead to the answers you want. Of course, you’ll want to do this investigating before you buy a house.
Steps to lower property taxes
But, even researching and investigating local property taxes may not keep you from receiving a hefty property tax bill in the mail. You might have to take other measures to lower property taxes. Following are some ways that you could lower property taxes:
- Conduct a survey – After a major weather storm like a hurricane, tornado or earthquake, get your house appraised. If you’re paying property taxes based on the value of your home and the assessment shows that the storm reduced your home’s value, share this information with your tax department and request that your taxes be lowered.
- Rent your property – You might pay lower property taxes if you rent a portion of your property, especially if the tax department allows you to deduct the costs of property repairs.
- File for an abatement – If you served in the military or have reached senior citizen status, file for an abatement.Depending on local tax office rules, you might qualify for a property tax reduction.
- Move to another county – By moving a part of town that has lower property taxes, you could reduce your property tax rates.
Gain a say in local property tax rates
Next to monthly mortgage payments and student loans, little may unnerve Americans like taxes. Included among this annoyance are property taxes. By taking one or more steps that could potentially lower your property taxes, you could end up breathing better.
You could feel more relaxed. You’d definitely have one less financial obligation to concern yourself with. Another gain that you might enjoy is learning about the importance of participating in local government meetings and initiatives.
The more than your voice is heard, the more influence you might come to have on local politics, including property tax rates. It may sound far fetched now. But, you could become an influence on who plays a key role in preventing property taxes from rising so high that home ownership gets out of reach for far too many people in the area where you live.