How to Fight Property Tax Increases in Colorado
According to statistics released by the National Taxpayers Union, between 30 and 60 percent of property owners pay more than they should in a fiscal year. As a property owner, do not fear to appeal the property tax bill if you feel that the amount is exaggerated. You have to show the taxman that the value of your property is far much less than the accessed amount. Here are helpful techniques to appeal your tax bill.
Evaluate the Assessments
Reevaluating your assessment should be the first step to appeal and fight a property tax. Determine how the tax authorities in Denver asses properties. Estimate the timeline between every assessment and the criteria used to come into the final market value of the property. Most assessors use the value of similar properties and multiply it by a common ratio. For instance, a property that costs $1 million is multiplied by a ratio of 80 percent to give the final value of $800,000. Others use the cost of replacing or improving a house as the main criterion for determining the market value.
Check for any error in the assessment report. The report has all the details used to assess the property. They include the dimensions and the number of rooms in the house. Check the square footage of each room and the dimensions to ensure they are correct. You may refer to the initial architectural plan of the house for accuracy. If you find any error, notify the assessor and demand for a reduction immediately.
Compare Other Property Assessments
You need to compare your property’s assessment with others to ensure you get what is fair. You may find three or more similar properties with a higher evaluation, or you may come across others with lower valuations than yours. In this case, you need to ask the assessor the reason why your house was valued higher than other houses with the same features. Also, you can negotiate for a tax reduction if your house has lesser features, yet it has the same valuation as houses with more advanced features.
Apply for All the Tax Breaks Available
States such as Colorado and Florida have tax shield provisions. Anyone who owns a home in these states is eligible for a homestead exemption, which shields some of the home values from the taxman. Those who are disabled and old also qualify for breaks. Homeowners with incomes less than a half a million dollars can get a $30,000 cut on the total value of their homes.
Present Your Case
You need to present your case once you determine that the taxation is exorbitant. Make sure you arm yourself with enough research to prove that indeed the property deserves a tax reduction. You can physically go to the local assessor in Denver or call. Most assessors are willing to discuss tax issues informally, so you should take advantage of this. The assessor must give a satisfying explanation. If you are not convinced with the explanation, demand a formal review. Never exceed the deadlines set for appeals. A typical review in Denver can take between one to three months.
If the review does not solve anything, appeal with another independent body. You may also take it to the state board for more reviews. The disadvantage with the state appeal board is that your case may stall for about a year. Most homeowners who take their cases to state appeal boards often emerge the winners. The board will only lower the amount of tax charged and not the tax rate.
The ultimate solution lies on your efforts to get what you feel is right. You can also track down expert assistance to save time and energy.