Have you been shocked by what you see in your Honolulu property tax assessment notice? You are not alone. Many property owners see significant increases in their property tax bills due to home value increases, boundary shifts, and other changes. The good thing is that there is something you can do about an unfair property assessment increase. Significant increases are grounds for objecting to it, especially when it is not at par with other properties in your area.
While objecting to a property assessment increase seems daunting, it is a common occurrence. About 20% to 40% of property owners can successfully lower property tax bills by objecting to property assessments, saving themselves a good amount of money in the process. This article will discuss how to object to a property assessment increase and the possibility of lowering your property tax bill for the upcoming year.
Step 1: Gather Evidence
If you suspect your tax assessment has increased by mistake, you have to contact your tax assessor first and ask them to explain how they determined your property’s value. The assessor might have entered the incorrect square footage or the wrong number of bedrooms for your property, causing the increase. If the reason for the increase cannot be easily identified, you need to do more research. Comparing similar recently-sold properties in your area can be helpful. You might have solid grounds for your objection if these properties sold for a lot less than your property assessment. Be sure to check your local laws and regulations.
Step 2: Look Up the Appeals Process
Objecting to a property assessment will be different from one county to another. Hence, you need to look up the appeals procedure for your specific location. Your county website or tax assessor’s website will likely have this information. The forms needed to file the appeal can usually be found on their sites as well. Note specified dates or timeframes if there are any. You need to file an appeal within 90 days in most places, although in other counties, that can be as low as 30 days. There are also locations that accept appeals only within a very specific window of time. To ensure that you are making efficient use of your time and to raise your chances of success, be sure to follow your county’s procedures.
Step 3: File and Argue Your Case
When all your documents have been prepared and have included your evidence, it is time to file your appeal with the county. Again, make sure you follow everything outlined on the county or tax assessor’s website. You might need to pay a minimal filing fee; do it using an approved method. After this, you should receive a notification when a hearing on your appeal has been scheduled. Attendance at the hearing is mandatory. Send a representative if you cannot go in person. If you, or a representative, don’t show up for the hearing, your appeal will not be considered. Make sure to have all documents and copies on hand. If you successfully argue your case, you can then have your property assessment adjusted to reflect the accurate current value of your property.
Objecting to your property assessment increase can help rental property owners keep their expenses under control. But it can take up a lot of your time, not counting the many steps you have to meticulously follow to improve your chances of success. If you need Honolulu property management professionals to help you, you can contact Real Property Management Alliance. We offer many valuable services to rental property owners like you that can help you keep your costs down and the rental income flowing in. Contact us online or call 808-427-0611 today!
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