Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Property tax appeal
Old 12-09-2010, 10:37 PM   #1
Dryer sheet aficionado
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 45
Property tax appeal

Our town had a re-evaluation of all its properties and my house and land went up from a total of $145,000 to a new appraisal of $487,000. I filed an appeal with the state, and while waiting, the township called and said they would reconsider and come out and look at the property again. They did, and offered me a new appraisal of $431,000. So they did take $56,000 off the value of the property. But, this still means I will be paying $200 MORE EACH MONTH for property taxes than I was paying during 2010.

The man that came out to look at the property told me I should take the new offer if one is offered. My question to all of you is this: Have anyone had any experience of appealing their appraisal with the state? Can the state say my property is worth more then the township's new appraisal? Is it better to just pay the extra $200 a month.....which does cut considerably into my income....

Also the township told me I only have 48 hours to decide if I will take the new appraisal......what the?
__________________

__________________
Skye is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 12-09-2010, 11:05 PM   #2
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
clifp's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 7,451
I successfully appealed my property tax a few years ago. There was only a single entity to deal with the the city and county of Honolulu, it took more than 2 years and numerous phone calls and email to get everything resolved. So it is absolutely possible, if it is worth it is up to you is an different question. If you are firmly convinced that 431,000 is off by more than 10% than it sound like it would save you fair amount of cash and is probably worth the fight. But you really need to have some excellent comps in your neighborhood to show that appraisal is off base.


The 48 hours to accept or appeal the appraisal seems completely unreasonable to me, but obviously you'd need the advice of a lawyer to see if is legal.
__________________

__________________
clifp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-09-2010, 11:06 PM   #3
Administrator
W2R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 38,932
I haven't ever appealed a property appraisal, but I just wanted to sympathize. The change in appraisal for your property is shocking, especially in the recent real estate slowdown, and their 48 hour deadline seems almost insane.
__________________
Already we are boldly launched upon the deep; but soon we shall be lost in its unshored, harbourless immensities.

- - H. Melville, 1851
W2R is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-09-2010, 11:12 PM   #4
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
kyounge1956's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 2,171
I only have experience with appealing my local property tax to the county Assessor's office.
About 15 or 20 years ago, the assessment on the house I lived in at the time went up to what I thought was a ridiculous figure. I presented three recent comparable sales to demonstrate that my property was not worth as much as it was assessed for, and my valuation was reduced. They are offering you a reduction of about 11%, which is about the same as the reduction I got by appealing.
__________________
kyounge1956 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-09-2010, 11:54 PM   #5
Dryer sheet wannabe
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: LA
Posts: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skye View Post
Our town had a re-evaluation of all its properties and my house and land went up from a total of $145,000 to a new appraisal of $487,000. I filed an appeal with the state, and while waiting, the township called and said they would reconsider and come out and look at the property again. They did, and offered me a new appraisal of $431,000. So they did take $56,000 off the value of the property. But, this still means I will be paying $200 MORE EACH MONTH for property taxes than I was paying during 2010.

The man that came out to look at the property told me I should take the new offer if one is offered. My question to all of you is this: Have anyone had any experience of appealing their appraisal with the state? Can the state say my property is worth more then the township's new appraisal? Is it better to just pay the extra $200 a month.....which does cut considerably into my income....

Also the township told me I only have 48 hours to decide if I will take the new appraisal......what the?
I have had experiences appealing property values in CA and AZ, and I must say that your situation seems very odd.

Based on your profile, I assume your property is in NJ, but I think the appeals process is likely largely the same across all the states.

First of all, you don't appeal to the state. You appeal to Assessor of the County in which the property resides. Each County has either an Assessor department or equlivalent that is responsible for determine property values. Once a property value has been "assessed", the property tax is calculated based on applicable property tax rate (i.e. based on a combination of "basic levy", or a fixe percentage, as well as your yearly share of the amount required to repay any debt issues by local jurisdictions). In general, (Assessed Value - Applicable Exemption) x Rate = Your Property Tax Amount. I am generalizing it a bit, but in general that's how it works.

If you decide to appeal, your first recourse is to appeal to the County Assessor. You usually have a certain period of time to file an appeal, from the date you received the assessment notice. You need to provide supporting information such as comps or recent sales as part of the appeal. Once you've appealed, the Assessor usually takes some time to process your appeal, and then notify you of their findings/decision. Some Counties will allow you to speak to the Assessor on the phone or in person to discussion their findings.

If you still disagree with the findings at that point, (at least in CA) you can appeal to something called Clerk of the Board/Assessment Appeals Board, which is an independent government body that hears and adjudicates disputes between the Assessor and the taxpayers. A hearing is conducted with both sides presenting their cases. The Board then makes a ruling that is binding.

While I don't know how NJ works, your County should have a body similar to Clerk of the Board/Assessment Appeals Board that independently adjudicates property value disputes. You need to get onto the County website and find out if such a body exists, and what policies govern the appeals process. Do the same for the Assessor department (or equivalent) in your County.

The bottom line is the "take it or leave" 48-hour offer seems odd. If I were you, I would not take the offer, but keep appealing (to the Board). The worst thing that can happen to you, should you lose, is that you pay an extra $200 month more. So why take that now when you still have resource to appeal?
__________________
CoopersBeach is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2010, 06:08 AM   #6
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 8,626
You did not state what you think the property should be appraised at. You did not state what proof and evidence you have for the value you believe your property is worth.

We've appealed successfully at least twice. The first time was like dealing with a car dealer. The appraiser tried to negotiate up from what we thought our home value was and we tried to negotiate down from what he thought our home value was. We had solid evidence from very recent sales of very comparable homes as evidence. He even pulled the "I will have to go talk to my manager" trick. We did not budge whle we let him "go talk to his manager". He came back, "OK, I agree with you."

So ... get your property appraised to its true value or less and not some trumped up appraisal value. If the government can prove their case, they will. If you can prove your case, you should certainly do so. If you can't prove your case and only use wishful thinking, then good luck with that.
__________________
LOL! is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2010, 08:00 AM   #7
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
teejayevans's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,222
Quote:
Originally Posted by LOL! View Post
So ... get your property appraised to its true value or less and not some trumped up appraisal value. If the government can prove their case, they will. If you can prove your case, you should certainly do so. If you can't prove your case and only use wishful thinking, then good luck with that.
Good advice, also, if appeal, you could end up losing the reduce amount, or even have your value raised, so, do you feel lucky?
TJ
__________________
teejayevans is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2010, 08:09 AM   #8
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 2,056
I'm surprised that the assessed value went UP for 2011! That sounds like some serious gouging to me. A couple months ago, I went to a community meeting, and they told us our assessments would go down for 2011, by an average of 35%.

I'm in Prince George's County, MD, and we get reassessed every 3 years, but if the value goes up, they phase in, over the course of 3 years. But if it drops, it drops right away.

In my case though, I don't think it's going to lower my actual taxes paid, because we get something called a homestead tax credit, that keeps your actual taxes from going up too much on your principal residence. I think we're capped at 10% per year, no matter what the actual assessed value is. But on rental properties, it doesn't apply.

Anyway, my full taxable amount is around $5000, but the homestead tax credit capped me at around $3200. Which just happens to be around 65% of $5K. So that drop in value will wipe out the tax credit first, before it eats into the actual taxes I pay.

Still, I'm not complaining! I'd rather pay the same amount of taxes in 2011 as 2010 than have to pay more!

Anyway, good luck on fighting that assessment. I don't have any advice to offer, alas. Hope it works out for you!
__________________
Andre1969 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2010, 08:51 AM   #9
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Rambler's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 2,250
What's the property really worth? Every state and county is different, but it seems that tax should be paid on the real value/worth of the property. If it is worth the new assessment, shouldn't the taxes have been higher all along? (sorry, playing devil's advocate...)

R
__________________
Find Joy in the Journey...
Rambler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2010, 09:05 AM   #10
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Rustic23's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Lake Livingston, Tx
Posts: 3,624
You might take a look at this:
How to Lower Your Property Taxes in New Jersey | eHow.com

This is also a good document that tells how they appraise property, a little technical but really pretty good for any state.
http://www.state.nj.us/treasury/taxa...raisalvol1.pdf

http://www.state.nj.us/treasury/taxa...assessment.pdf

As far as the jump in price, there could be all sorts of reasons that might justify this. NJ, from what I can find, does not have a time limit on how often land must be re-assessed. While you may be noticed each year, it does not mean the property was actually re-assessed. So if it has been a while since they actually took a look at the property, that may cause an increase. I am assuming this is a single family dwelling, with a 'standard size residential lot' as opposed to acreage. If acreage is involved, then a change in land use might be present. Heck, it could even be for residential property, but that usually takes a change in zoning.

The point is there are all sorts of things that can change from one year to another that could cause a big jump in value.
__________________
If it is after 5:00 when I post I reserve the right to disavow anything I posted.
Rustic23 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2010, 11:14 AM   #11
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 2,424
How long ago was it appraised for $145,000? And what part of NJ are you in?

We have family in Morristown and their property taxes run $700/mo on a property valued at $325,000.
__________________
Married, both 62. DH retired June, 2010. I have a pleasant little part time job.
Sue J is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2010, 12:36 PM   #12
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
73ss454's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: LaLa Land
Posts: 4,378
While living in NY I fought my property taxes every year with an attorney who charged 1/2 of what he saved me.

Down here in Fla there is no point to fighting as no one knows why your paying what your paying. Once the property values finally went down they just changed the millage rate to raise the taxes higher anyway. No point in wasting your time.
__________________
73ss454 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2010, 12:55 PM   #13
Recycles dryer sheets
Tractor guy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 105
I succesfully appealed my assessment on my home 2 years ago. I documented the price we paid for it the year before and had 3 comparable prices paid in the neighborhood. I think the assessment dropped about 20% which is in line with the drop in real estate values after the bubble crashed.

I did this at my county courthouse. (A Chicago suburb). They allowed the appeal once/year. If you missed the window to file the paperwork, you had to wait for the next turn. A deadline like this may be the reason why your NJ assessor is giving you a hard deadline.

I got a card from a lawyer offering to do it for $500.00. All of the paperwork and comparable values were published on line with very clear instructions. I didn't need him.
__________________
Tractor guy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2010, 01:53 PM   #14
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Rustic23's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Lake Livingston, Tx
Posts: 3,624
73ss,
That happened in Houston when the market dropped out the bottom in the 80's. Only problem is the county officials did not lower the millage rate when the property values recovered!
__________________
If it is after 5:00 when I post I reserve the right to disavow anything I posted.
Rustic23 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2010, 02:05 PM   #15
Full time employment: Posting here.
Lakedog's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 654
I have been successful twice (OR and AL) but in both cases I had only owned the homes a couple of years and could use the purchase price to support my case.

The only other time I appealed was in 2007 when the assessed value of my current home increased over 50% from the previous year. Being lake property, the lot is worth much more than the house. The review board was willing to accept the house value as what my insurance co used as a replacement cost, but the lot value is more subjective as value is related to both amount and quality of waterfront access (since the lake level fluctuates and some lots have little access in the winter). I lost this appeal, but on the bright side my annual taxes are still under $1000 with an assessed value of over $400k. The assessed value stayed the same in 2008 but dropped a whopping 1-2% each of the last two years. I do think there were years that my property was "under" assessed but even lake property values here have dropped more than 2% the last 2-3 years.
__________________
Lakedog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2010, 04:23 PM   #16
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
73ss454's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: LaLa Land
Posts: 4,378
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rustic23 View Post
73ss,
That happened in Houston when the market dropped out the bottom in the 80's. Only problem is the county officials did not lower the millage rate when the property values recovered!
I wouldn't expect them to. Just like AMT from 1969 or any other tax they put in place.
__________________

__________________
73ss454 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Property Tax Assessment stephenandrew FIRE and Money 11 10-06-2010 08:28 AM
The Joys of Property Tax ziggy29 FIRE and Money 52 05-26-2009 11:01 AM
Property Tax Heaven boont FIRE and Money 26 03-16-2009 06:06 PM
Property Tax Piracy cantlogin Other topics 14 12-16-2007 08:48 AM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:56 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.