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Homeowner Tip: How To Challenge Tax Assessment Valuation

Most homeowners are aware of the impact of an improper tax assessment. It can be quite costly. Luckily, the researchers at FindLaw have put together a number of tips on how to challenge tax assessment valuations and how to dispute a tax bill.

The first step, obviously, is to get all your records together. You will want to look through them for any obvious errors. Some errors include adding extra bathrooms or bedrooms or using the wrong tax authority.

One possible way a valuation challenge can be successful is if the appraisal overlooked hidden conditions such as a pest infestation, a cracked foundation, or other undesirable environmental conditions. These factors could adversely lower the property's value, and hence adjust the owner's appraisal downward.

In most cases, the best evidence of property value is comparisons of recent property sales within the same neighborhood. Because this is public information, it is not difficult to obtain; however, analyzing it and applying it to the owner's particular situation can be difficult.

If there are no recent property sales within the property owner's neighborhood with which the owner can make comparisons, the next best alternative is to check for areas of comparison between the owner's property, and property that is reasonably similar to it. Consider factors like location, style, age, square footage, lot size, number of rooms, and so forth.

One thing about disputing a tax bill is that the laws for appeal vary from state to state. As a result, often the best thing you can do is to contact a local attorney.

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