How do you appeal property taxes – Vermont?
The general process is the same everywhere. Details may vary so you need to contact City Hall – Assessor’s Office and ask how to appeal. They usually have a form and instruction sheet. Watch the appeal deadlines.
The theory is that a comparable house(s) recently sold for the price of your new appraisal. You need to demonstrate it’s an unfair comparison. The key price is today’s salable value – not what you paid 20 years ago.
If you’ve had significant updates to your house done without permits and inspections, you’re asking for trouble. The city can demand a physical inspection of your house to evaluate your claims and they’ll spot that new bedroom, finished basement, outbuilding for the boat, etc. and agree the assessment was wrong – it was too low.
There is a racket of property attorneys use by offering to make the appeal for you. If they win they charge a fee. If they lose, they charge a fee. The homeowner rarely wins.
It is best to prepare your own appeal case, attorneys are not appraisers and will just cost you a lot of cash. You do not even need to hire a real estate appraiser, you will have just as good a chance of winning your appeal on your own when you have the right tools to guide you.
Learn more about how to appeal your property assessment here:
Hennepin County Property Taxes - Get To Know The Truth
To prorate means to divide something so that each person pays her fair share. The real estate term for dividing expenses that are paid after they are incurred or are prepaid is called prorations. For example, sometimes real estate taxes are paid in arrears. This means that they are paid currently for the year before. The practical effect of this is that the buyer will in many cases get a tax bill for time when she did not own the house and therefore was not responsible for the taxes.
An example will make this easier to understand. Let's say you closed on the house you bought on August 31, 2007. You are responsible for 4 months worth of real estate taxes for 2007. Unfortunately, the tax bill does not arrive until May of 2008. This is where prorations come into play. At the closing, you will be responsible for 1/3 of the tax bill that will arrive in May, 2008. That means the seller will give you, the buyer, an amount equal 2/3 of the agreed to prorated tax amount and you will pay the real estate tax bill.
The tricky part comes about because real estate taxes always seem to be going up. This is usually handled as part of the negotiations. The buyer will ask for an amount based on the seller's last year's tax bill plus a small percentage, usually 5 or 10% extra, and some agreement will be reached.
An unusually large increase in the real estate taxes due to a reassessment, rate increase or both can further complicate matters. With the gains in real estate prices in the recent past, many taxing bodies have become eager to capture at least part of that gain. So it is buyer beware and make sure you check with the local taxing authorities.
Prorations can also be used to adjust for any expenses that have been paid by the seller ahead of time, such as prepaid mortgage interest, prepaid casualty insurance, or such items as rent or utility bills.
© 2007 Complete Books Publishing, Inc.
Property Tax - Pros and Cons
Property tax is probably the fairest tax collected by municipalities. However, it is also probably the un-fairest tax collected by municipalities.
The state where an individual lives determines how much they pay, which may be higher or lower. An individual's economic status can also be a factor in how this type of tax impacts their pocketbook.
In fact when it comes to the decision on taxes and renting versus owning, this may be the only time renting is the best option. States collect property taxes on:
- Improvements to land such as additions to property
- Man made objects that are not stationary structures
It is usually assessed by individual county tax collectors in each state. Land and property are mailed tax payment notices that are the result of appraisals of the property's value. Notices of assessments can be disputed by contacting the tax collector in the land owner's county, and the tax bill is typically paid from a homeowner's escrow amount on their mortgage.
As mentioned, property taxes can disproportionately affect some homeowners. Increases in a state's tax rate can often double or even triple a homeowner's tax liability and often leave them with no option but to sale their residence or land.
Critics of this form of taxation have also decried the fact that it does address the situations of some individuals. Although it is ordinarily paid as part of an escrow account, increased property tax means they would have to pay more into escrow.
Senior citizens on a fixed income have been identified as a group sometimes hit hard by taxes on their property. Such individuals may have high taxes due to an increase in the value of their property, yet find them selves unable to pay because of a reduced income during retirement. This mandatory tax, in some cases, does not take into account factors that may impact someone's ability to pay, such as personal tragedy or acts of nature.
Property tax has also been criticized because of the difference individuals must pay between states. Alabama has the lowest rate at 1.3 percent on property value, while New Hampshire has the largest at 4.9 percent. The average percentage among is somewhere in the range of 2.3 percent.
While Alabama has a tax rate of 1.3, which would seem to make it an attractive location for a home or business owner, someone with property a few feet away in neighboring Georgia would have to pay 2.6 percent, and more than double in Florida with a tax rate of 3.1 percent.
Just how to spend the revenue (or waste it, as is the case with many governments) generated by taxing property values is determined by state legislatures. A state's legislature also has say over reducing or raising the tax rate along with determining how often it should be collected. Additionally, there may also set limits on how much increase, if any, there can be every year.
Property tax definitely helps states with revenue. But while much needed, property tax can also be a deciding factor in where an individual lives or their ability to retain the American Dream of owning land.
- Addison County Property Tax Appeal
- Bennington County Property Tax Appeal
- Caledonia County Property Tax Appeal
- Chittenden County Property Tax Appeal
- Essex County Property Tax Appeal
- Franklin County Property Tax Appeal
- Grand Isle County Property Tax Appeal
- Lamoille County Property Tax Appeal
- Orange County Property Tax Appeal
- Orleans County Property Tax Appeal
- Rutland County Property Tax Appeal
- Washington County Property Tax Appeal
- Windham County Property Tax Appeal
- Windsor County Property Tax Appeal