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You Can Cut Down on Property Taxes
Everyone loves a deal that will save them money on their income taxes, whether it is a credit of some kind, rebate to turn in or other incentive that will cut money off of the cash they have to pay the government. Refund checks are almost revered in this country because of the impression that they are almost like free money that was never expected to come back.
With that kind of environment in this country, it’s a wonder why ways to cut down on property taxes are not as widely published or commonly available as income tax techniques. The fact is, there are many ways the government has offered to cut you a break on your property taxes and going through a few of the methods might leave you surprised at some of the mechanisms out there to save money.
So, how do you go about getting your real estate in the right condition and making sure that your property tax comes in at a fair amount? These tips will help you not only tackle the way the government sees the value in your home but will also give you some other avenues for research.
Know Your Home’s Evaluation
Your local government determines property tax on a property by gathering data about the home and assessing a value to that collection of information. However, as you might expect, the data collected is not always correct and before ever paying a penny, you should check out your assessment to make sure that there are not large mistakes on it causing you to pay more than you need to in taxes.
Doing so can be as easy as calling up your local assessor’s office or even nowadays logging on to your local government’s web site to pull down your listing from the city or county database. Two bedrooms instead of one or a finished basement instead of a half basement can make a big different in the valuation of your home and the subsequent tax you must pay.
Research Potential Rebates
City, state and federal rebates are available on a wide variety of home features but without requesting them or researching how to claim them, you could be left in the dark with an overpriced property tax bill in your hands. Home features, especially those that promote energy efficiency and renewable energy, have become a great source for rebates and support has increased over time.
Environmentally-friendly installations like solar panels and natural water heaters garner much of the rebate money and if you have them installed, you should pursue rebates if you have not already. Criteria changes from place to place, so you will have to do your own research into what rebates are available, but rest assured that there are some out there if you dig deep enough.
If All Else Fails…
Call in the professionals. A professional tax attorney or property tax consultant will uncover ways you and I have never even thought of to modify your property tax situation in a favorable way. Sometimes local codes have intricacies and clauses that tax professionals will know how to take advantage of to either reduce your property’s appraised value or reduce your property tax directly.
No matter what avenue or approach you take, know that there are ways out there to make sure that your property tax payment is properly in line with your property’s true value. While some of these tips may not result in the thousands of dollars in rebates you’d probably like to see, they can chip away at an amount that you have to pay on a yearly basis, netting you a solid benefit over the long term.
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We respond right away! -Colleen & Joe Lane, Realtors®
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