Five Tips to Help You Lower Your Property Taxes
Property taxes are an unavoidable cost of homeownership, but there are ways to make sure that your annual property tax bill is as low as possible. With the help of these five tips to help you lower your property taxes, you’ll be able to keep more money in your pocket each year without a big investment of time or money on your part.
Don’t Guess, Get an Inspection
If you are planning on putting your house up for sale, it is wise to get an inspection first. For example, a building inspector can be used as pool tax help when trying to find a major problem that is causing water damage inside of your home. The damage could be dangerous and cost you thousands in repairs if it was not found until after you had sold your house. If a large amount of foundation issues were uncovered, you might have been able to haggle with a potential buyer on price or convince them not to buy altogether. Finding these things now means that any problems can be fixed before they snowball into a costly process. Once everything has been inspected and confirmed safe, go ahead and put your house up for sale.
If you’re planning a party for July 4th, you may want to make sure your local government is aware. Schedule it with them in advance. That way, they can take into account any events that will increase traffic flow and adjust accordingly. The same goes for trash collection; if you need a special day (for instance, your party), put it on their schedule ahead of time so they can plan their routes appropriately. Reduce Pool Taxes: One thing that varies widely across regions is property taxes.
Know What You Can Deduct
Many homeowners don’t know about all of their property tax deductions. Find out if you qualify for any additional exemptions or deductions that can help lower your taxes. This could include anything from an exemption if you live on a farm, to disabled person and senior citizen status, which allow you to deduct a larger portion of your property taxes. If you’re eligible for any exemptions or deductions that aren’t currently being applied, you can save yourself hundreds of dollars in annual property taxes. Another important deduction is making sure your school district has properly certified your homestead status so that you can avoid having pool taxes placed on your home, which reduces your tax break by increasing the overall tax rate for everyone in town.
Know What’s Listed on Assessed Value
While most property taxes are based on assessed value, it’s important that you know what your state considers market value. In most cases, market value is determined by averaging out comparable homes in your area. You can find out what properties have sold for in your neighborhood by checking county records or even by calling neighbors who may have put their home up for sale recently. If a neighbor doesn’t mind sharing that information, it can be helpful—and surprisingly valuable—to know how much other homeowners in your community paid for similar houses and how high their taxes were as a result.
Do Your Homework (Or Have a CPA Do It For You)
If you’re a homeowner, chances are you’ve got a line item in your annual budget called property taxes. When that tax bill arrives every year, chances are it feels like too much. Most of us don’t know how our property taxes were calculated and, even if we did know exactly what caused our rate to increase so steeply one year versus another, we wouldn’t have a good way of understanding what actually goes into calculating them. Make sure you do your homework and understand how your property tax bill is calculated by speaking with local government officials or contacting an accountant for advice.
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