Homeowners can save big bucks if they know how to approach their next appeal. The basis for an appeal is assuming your property’s estimated market value is erroneous. Now, that doesn’t mean you think your taxes are too high, because in Boulder County property tax rates are set by officials who also determine the county budget. But what you can do is appeal the Assessor’s estimated property value to try and get your taxes lowered. Here are some tips on how to be successful in your appeal.
The first step in winning your appeal is actually getting the appeal through the door. In Boulder, timing is crucial for appeals on both ends of the time spectrum. You must file your appeal between May 1st to June 3rd via mail, online, in person or by fax. If your appeal is late you will lose your right to make future appeals, so make the deadline.
Be aware of your fight. There are several areas to look at when determining your argument against the assessor. One dispute is that there was an error in describing the property, such as the number of bathrooms in the house or the square footage was too high.
This is an instant win if you can find a tangible mistake in the assessment. If you can find ANY error in the assessment that shows your house is less than what was noted, this can add to your argument, so make sure the assessment isn’t inflated. This is one time you are going to want to verbally depreciate the value of your home and make it sound worse than it is. This is where comparison to similar properties comes into the appeal.
First, you can find information about comparable property sales and property information online. Do your research on similar properties and two sides can come out of this: figuring out what similar features are assessed as and determining that the compared properties used by the assessor were much nicer than yours. The key is to really milk how much worse your house is versus the properties it was compared to.
The last indication of an invalid assessment is that you recently purchased your home for less than the current appraisal. See how the value compares to the price tag you paid for it because if you can argue this and the assessment is actually invalid you have a good chance of winning. On the other hand, if this argument doesn’t suffice and the assessment turns out to be accurate, then it just means you got a really good deal on the house.
Be organized and follow the instructions for filling an appeal precisely. Making any sort of mistake can put you at risk for losing your appeal due to simple technicality errors. It takes time, research, and looking at the details to go through the appeal process, but it is proving to be worth it for many homeowners.