Property tax appeal: Should you appeal your property’s assessed value in Somerset County, Pennsylvania?
Property owners in Somerset County are totally knowledgeable about the problem of property taxes; those that have actually invested their lives in areas where these taxes are generally high feel the impact more than many. The effect of these taxes can be even worse for those who have lived in their properties for a long time, as they have experienced firsthand the taxes rise year after year. But the bad news is perhaps overpaying your real estate tax and be completely uninformed. Here are some typical factors individuals are overpaying their residential properties tax.
Is your Somerset County house over assessed?
A high house assessment is the primary factor that people appeal the amount they are paying on their property taxes. In many cases, people feel that the evaluation placed on their property does not reflect the marketplace value should they try to offer it today. The most convenient way to discover this out is to contact some regional realtors. They ought to have the ability to tell you the variety of worths similar properties are selling for in your area. Remember, the real market value of your property will not be known till a sale is closed. When you receive your property assessed value, you will be provided 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 market value of your home?
It is most likely worthwhile to reach out to a regional property agent or your assessor in Somerset County, Pennsylvania. If you feel your home has been severely misestimated, an expert evaluation might prove extremely economical in the long run
Often people do not realize you are not permitted to contest your tax bill in Pennsylvania, however you can undoubtedly lodge an assessed value appeal, remember that no matter how you feel about the costs, if you do not pay, it can lead to the foreclosure of your house.
To successfully appeal, you will need to show a minimum of 3 equivalent homes that have been assessed at a lower assessed value. The closer these homes are in size and location to yours, the greater the opportunity of success you will have on appeal
Specific scenarios that may have actually reduced the value of your property
If there are extraordinary circumstances that directly lead to the reduction of your residential property value and these are not accounted for in your evaluation, these are clear grounds for appeal. Just provide proof of these situations, and the appeals procedure should be straightforward.
You have just recently purchased your property in Somerset County, Pennsylvania for less than the assessed value
If you have evidence of the purchase price of your home or you possess a recent appraisal that does not reflect the amount your home has actually been valued at by the assessor, this is clear premises for appeal. If a professional values your home much lower than that of the tax assessment, this is considerable evidence to back your appeal. You can always pay for a brand-new appraisal even though this will cost a few hundred dollars it could be worth it in the end. The good news is that you do not have to accept a high real estate assessment; you can always appeal and get them reduced at the same time.
How do you appeal your house assessed value in Somerset County?
Every State has their own criteria for real estate assessed value appeals. Something they all have in common; the only groungs that they will accept is that your property has actually been evaluated higher than itreal market value. As your Somerset County house taxes are computed basically by multiplying the evaluated value of your home by its locations set tax rate, you do not have any premises to appeal the tax rate just the home assessment value. Your only avenue of approach is to prove your house is valued less than the value the assessor believes.
On receiving your home assessment, your county will offer you a predetermined window in which to appeal. These can vary substantially from 30 to 90 days so your county appeal deadline is the first thing you want to determine. However, keep in mind if you miss this due date there’s nothing you can do, and you will be required to wait a more year for a chance to appeal your property assessed value!
The fastest and easiest way to file an appeal in Somerset County is to do so on the assessment website of your county, town or city. The fees related to each appeal can differ dependent on the initial value of your property assessed value. The expense of an appeal varies could be as little as $10 to $100, depending upon where you live.
The first step in the process is to ensure that your regional tax assessor has included the proper property information to start with. Sometimes, facts on your home may be in error such as, houses have been raised with basements that don’t exist; such examples are wrong and could lead to your home value being reduced immediately. The more details that you can gather regarding why you feel your house is miscalculated, the more powerful your case for an assessment appeal.
If there are no recognizable concerns with the information on your property, you will need to find information of equivalent homes in your neighborhood that are assessed at a lower value. This will be the easiest way to show your case. You will want to find 3 or four residential properties that are all the same size as yours, in the exact same area, whose value is much less lower than your property; this will be your grounds for appeal.
In some areas, you’ll be asked to participate in a property appeal hearing, so if this does take place, don’t be intimidated. In general, these hearings are just contacted us to allow you to provide the info you have actually gathered in support of your claim. You will also be permitted to take a look at any false info that might be on file about your residential property. You ought to be prepared for this hearing and have all the data you‘ve collected about similar homes and sales of comparable homes in Somerset County.
Be prepared for the tax assessor to argue his/her counter-argument. One of the most popular ones here is that your home in concern is more contemporary than the ones you’re comparing it to. Be ready for such an argument because if you get to this point, the Assessor believes you are not deserving of a reduction in value and will want to win his/her case by embellishing on the facts to support their case. It’s is always important to keep in mind that there are no additional penalties connected to submitting an appeal; the worst outcome being that your house assessment is the same.
Is it worth submitting an appeal?
If you truly feel that your home has been overvalued, a successful appeal of your Somerset County property assessment might lead to substantial cost savings. If there are just a couple of hundred dollars of potential cost savings, it might not be worth your time. You also need to consider that the hearing could be scheduled during 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 possibly eliminate wage loss.
Property Tax Valuation - How to Calculate
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.