Property tax appeal: Should you appeal your property assessment in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania?
Property owners in Lancaster County are completely aware of the burden of property taxes; those that have spent their lives in areas where these taxes are generally high feel the impact more than a lot of. The impact of these taxes can be even worse for those who have resided in their properties for some time, as they have seen firsthand the taxes increase every year. The bad news is perhaps overpaying your residential property taxes and be completely uninformed. Here are some typical reasons people are overpaying their residential properties tax.
Is your Lancaster County house over assessed?
A high property evaluation is the primary factor that people appeal the amount they are paying on their property taxes. In a lot of cases, people feel that the valuation placed on their property does not show the market value must they try to offer it today. The easiest way to discover this out is to get in touch with some regional real estate agents. They ought to be able to tell you the variety of worths equivalent homes are selling for in your location. Keep in mind, the actual value of your property will not be known till a sale is finally closed. When you receive your house assessed value, you will be given a 30-day window in which to appeal any valuation. Otherwise, you will have to wait up until next year to appeal.
Can you get the actual value of your house?
It is most likely beneficial to contact a regional real estate representative or your assessor in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. If you feel your home has been severely overvalued, a professional valuation could prove extremely economical in the long run
Most do not know you are not permitted to dispute your tax bill directly in Pennsylvania, but you can unquestionably submit an appeal, remember that no matter how you feel about the bill, if you do not pay, it can result in the foreclosure of your home.
To effectively appeal, you will require to reveal at least three equivalent residential properties that have been assessed at a lower value. The closer these homes remain in size and area to yours, the greater the opportunity of success you will have on appeal
Particular situations that may have decreased the value of your property
If there are exceptional circumstances that straight result in the decrease of your home value and these are not reflected in your assessment, these are clear premises for appeal. Just provide evidence of these circumstances, and the appeals procedure should be straightforward.
You have actually recently purchased your home in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania for lower market value than the assessment value
If you have proof of the purchase price of your home or you have a recent appraisal that does not reflect the amount your house has been valued at by the assessor, this is clear grounds for appeal. If a professional evaluates your property much lower than that of the tax assessment, this is significant proof to back your appeal. You can always request a new appraisal even though this will cost a couple of hundred dollars it could be worth it in the end. The bright side is that you do not have to accept a high real estate assessment; you can always appeal and get them decreased in the process.
How do you contest your real estate assessed value in Lancaster County?
Every State has their own requirements for property assessment value appeals. One thing they all have in common; the only groungs that they will accept is that your property has been assessed higher than itreal market value. As your Lancaster County real estate taxes are calculated basically by multiplying the assessed value of your house by its areas set tax rate, you do not have any grounds to appeal the tax rate just the real estate assessed value. Your only avenue of approach is to show your house is less than the value the assessor thinks.
Upon receiving your home assessed value, your county will offer you a predetermined window in which to appeal. These can differ substantially from 30 to 90 days so your county appeal deadline is the first thing you want to determine. However, remember if you miss this deadline there’s nothing you can do, and you will be forced to wait a further year for an opportunity to appeal your home assessment value!
The fastest and simplest way to submit an appeal in Lancaster County is to do so on the website of your county, town or city. The charges related to each appeal can vary dependent on the initial value of your home assessment value. The expense of an appeal varies could be as little as $10 to $100, depending on where you live.
The first step in the procedure is to ensure that your local tax assessor has included the appropriate home info to start with. In some cases, information may be in error such as, houses have actually been lifted with basements that don’t exist; such examples are wrong and could cause your home value being decreased right away. The more information that you can gather regarding why you feel your house is misestimated, the stronger your case for an appeal.
If there are no obvious problems with the info on your property, you will need to discover information of equivalent homes in your community that have a lower assessment. This will be the easiest method to show your case. You will want to find 3 or 4 residential properties that are all the same size as yours, in the same area, whose value is much less lower than your property; this will be your premises for appeal.
In some areas, you’ll be asked to attend a real estate appeal hearing, so if this does happen, do not be daunted. In general, these hearings are just contacted us to allow you to present the information you have actually gathered in support of your claim. You will likewise be permitted to take a look at any incorrect details that may be on file about your home. You must be ready for this hearing and have all the data you have actually collected about comparable houses and sales of similar houses in Lancaster County.
Be ready for the tax assessor to argue his or her counter-argument. Among the most popular ones here is that your home in concern is more modern than the ones you’re comparing it to. Be prepared for such an argument because if you get to this point, the Assessor believes you are not deserving of a reduction in assessment and will want to win his/her case by elaborating on the facts to support their case. It’s is always essential to keep in mind that there are no additional penalties attached to filing an appeal; the worst outcome being that your house assessment is the same.
Is it worth submitting an appeal?
If you really feel that your house has been misestimated, an effective appeal of your Lancaster County property assessment value could result in considerable savings. If there are just a few hundred dollars of possible cost savings, it might not be worth your time. You also need to consider that the hearing could be arranged throughout a workday, which might lead to a loss of revenues. Find out as soon as possible when the hearings take place, and will it be a teleconference or in-person hearing. This way you can make the arrangements to minimize wage loss.
Pay Your Property Tax Or Lose Your Property
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.
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