Owning a home comes with a ton of costs and expenses. Every time you turn around something will cost you money – like your annual property taxes. Your home’s property taxes can really add up each year, costing you thousands of dollars (and even more over a lifetime of ownership). If you’re struggling to afford your property taxes, it’s time to take action. You need to seek out property tax relief, which can lower your tax burden and help make owning your home more affordable each year. Search online to discover ways to lower or eliminate your property taxes.
No matter your situation, you don’t always have to pay the full assessed amount of your property taxes. However, in order to lower your owed amount, you need to seek out available alternatives and money-saving options. You can search online today for property tax relief options in your local area.
Here are four ways you may be able to get property tax relief – or lower your property tax burden.
1. Have Your Property’s Value Reassessed
If you think your property taxes are too high, you might be surprised to learn that sometimes, those taxes actually are higher than they should be. So, if you don’t agree with your property tax rate, you should have your property’s value reassessed.
Property taxes are determined by local – usually city or county – assessors who look at homes in your area that are similar to yours. They see what those homes are selling for, then estimate your home’s market value with those numbers. That means that the taxes you’re charged each year may not be 100 percent accurate. Your home might be worth less or more than the assessor decided it was worth.
And if your home is worth less, you should pay less in taxes. To have your property value reassessed, you’ll need to enlist a real estate appraiser or agent who can provide a market estimate. Make sure the description of your home is accurate too; you can get charged more if it’s mistakenly noted that you have more bedrooms, bathrooms, or even square footage. Then, you can challenge your assessment by contacting your assessor.
2. Use a Property Tax Relief Program
You may be able to lower your property taxes or get financial assistance to pay them through a property tax relief program.
Designed to help homeowners who don’t have the income to pay their property taxes, property tax relief programs are available in most states and counties. They may be offered by the government or by other local nonprofit organizations.
For example, the Property Tax Freeze Program in Tennessee allows low-income seniors who are age 65 and older to freeze their property taxes at a set amount. The taxes won’t change or increase as long as you’re part of the program. The city of Boston, Massachusetts offers property tax relief programs for low- to moderate-income homeowners who are 65 or older, capping property taxes at just 10 percent of annual income. And the state of Connecticut has a “circuit breaker” property tax relief program available for seniors and homeowners with disabilities.
Search online to see what kinds of property tax relief programs are available in your home state.
3. Apply for an Exemption
Another way you can get rid of your property taxes entirely is with an exemption. Property tax exemptions are usually granted to religious or government organizations – but some individuals can qualify too.
You might be able to get an exemption if you are:
- A senior
- An individual with certain abilities
- A veteran
- An agricultural property owner
However, exemptions do vary. Search online to see if Virginia, county, or city may be able to offer an exemption or lower your taxes for qualifying individuals.
4. Appeal Your Tax Bill
If you don’t qualify for other property tax relief options, your final option is an appeal. You can appeal your property tax bill to try to get a lower tax fee.
For a small fee, you can file a tax appeal and have someone review your property tax situation. Usually, you’ll need to enlist a lawyer’s help for an appeal. A lawyer will walk you through the steps required to complete an appeal. Once it’s submitted, your local tax assessor and board will review the information.
If your appeal is approved, your assessment will be lowered. So, while you’ll still be taxed at the same tax rate, you will pay less in taxes overall. Just keep in mind that you aren’t guaranteed to get a lower tax bill when you appeal. It varies from case to case.
Search Online to Find More Property Tax Relief Options
If you’re struggling to pay your property taxes, you don’t have to simply accept the bill when it arrives. You can look for options like those mentioned above to see if you can get your property taxes lowered.
Search online to find programs, relief, and other property tax options online. Every state, county, and city offer different tax relief solutions that may be able to help.