Have you received the dreaded Property Value Notice form from the county and don’t know what to do with it?
This form normally comes out in May but this year they have already been sent to many homeowners and the clock is ticking for you to protest. The county only gives you 30 days to respond or those tax values will be set for the year.
I have a few quick tips on how to lower your taxes, protest and keep your monthly mortgage payment from increasing.
First, if you own a primary residence you need to make sure you have your homestead (HMS) exemption filed with the county. On the Property Value Notice form, you can locate near the bottom what exemptions are in place on your property. There are other exemptions in which you can get discounted taxes for such as Over 65 (which caps your value), disabled veteran, disabled person, surviving spouse of a disabled veteran, agriculture and wildlife. You can read more about these exemptions on tad.org.
Having the homestead exemption is critical given the fact that the county cannot raise your taxes over 10% each year with that in place. Many homeowners are not told about how to file or think it’s too late if they missed filing it the first year of owning their home. If this is all new to you or you simply forgot to file, you can still file this form and usually, the county will revert it a few years back all depending on how long you have owned the home.
The second thing to look for on this form is what the 2018 Appraised Value is set at. This is the number in which your tax rate is used to calculate the tax bill. If the county appraised your property over what you paid for it, I would advise you to protest. All you have to do is simply flip that form over and read the instructions. Some counties allow you to protest online and some love to see your face! But do not be intimidated. Everyone on the appraisal review board are citizens like yourself who are there to listen to why they should be lowered. Don’t have the time to go face to face? There are lots of local companies who will do the digging for you and will appear on your behalf (for a small fee).
Finally, one quick check is to make sure the county has your square footage correct. That figure is also used to calculate your taxes and a lot of times they are not accurate. You can also protest based on that simple fact alone.