Have you opened your Burlingame property tax assessment notice and gotten the shock of your life? You are not alone. However, it’s not uncommon for property owners to see a considerable increase in their property tax bills due to home value increases, boundary shifts, and other changes. When the property assessment increase seems unfair, you can actually do something about it. A very significant increase may give you grounds for objecting to it, especially if it is clearly not at par with other properties within the same area.
Objecting to a property assessment increase will seem daunting, but it is more common than you think. There are around 20% to 40% of property owners who have successfully lowered their property tax bills when they objected to their property assessment. Here are some guidelines on how to object to a property assessment increase and possibly lower next year’s property tax bill.
Step 1: Gather Evidence
If you suspect that your tax assessment has increased by mistake, the first thing to do is to get in touch with your tax assessor and ask them how they determined your property’s value. The increase could simply be a result of the assessor encoding the incorrect square footage or the wrong number of bedrooms for your property. If you cannot identify the reason for the increase immediately, you will have to do more research. One helpful tip is to find some similar properties in your area that have recently been sold. If the selling price for these properties is a lot less than your property assessment, that may be solid grounds for your objection. Be sure to check your local laws and regulations.
Step 2: Look Up the Appeals Process
Each county may have its own ways of objecting to a property assessment. For that reason, you’ll need to be sure to look up the appeals procedure for your specific location. This information can usually be found on the county website or the tax assessor’s website in many cases. The needed forms for your appeal filing will also be downloadable from their sites. Take note of significant dates or timeframes. Most places give you 90 days within which to file your appeal, yet some give as little as 30 days. Also, some locations accept appeals within a very specific window of time. Make sure you use your time efficiently by following the procedure exactly as it’s written. This will also improve your chances of success.
Step 3: File and Argue Your Case
When you have all the documents ready and have included your evidence, you can now file your appeal with the county. Remember to follow everything outlined on the county or tax assessor’s website. Pay any associated filing fees using an approved method. Once you have completed all the steps, you will receive a notification for your scheduled appeal hearing. Make sure to show up for the hearing, or send an authorized representative in your place. Your appeal will not be considered if you -or your representative- do not show up for the hearing. Make sure you have complete documents and copies; you can then argue your case and, if successful, ask to have your property assessment adjusted to reflect the accurate value of your property.
Objecting to property assessment increases has helped rental property owners have more control of their expenses. It takes time though, and there are many steps you need to know and follow to make sure your appeal is successful. If you’d like Burlingame property management professionals to assist you in making the most of your rental income, contact Real Property Management Mid Peninsula. We offer many valuable services to rental property owners like you that can help you keep your costs down and the rental income flowing in. Contact us online or call 650-696-1800 today!
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