How do you appeal property taxes – Delaware?
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:
How Property Taxes Are Calculated On A Home
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.
Property Tax Valuation - How to Calculate
Real estate properties in the U.S. are taxed by the federal and state governments. Taxes on these properties are a major source of revenue for local governments. Property tax rates, in the form of percentage, are usually decided by city councils, school boards, town boards, village boards and county legislatures and are collected each year by municipalities such as cities, counties and districts. Every year normally during September or October, the board conducts budget hearings to find out how much funds they will need for their operations the following year. The tax rate is then determined by dividing the board's total taxes by the total assessed value of the jurisdiction.
Property taxes have a special purpose. The funds collected from taxpayers
are used by municipalities to improve vital public facilities and infrastructure such as schools, sewers, libraries, fire stations, hospitals, parks, roads and bridges.
Laws on the various aspects of real estate properties as well as forms of property tax vary from state to state. However, there's a standard formula in calculating property taxes on a home. The normal process involves multiplying the assessed value of a certain property by the prevailing tax rate. Exemptions, if any, are then deducted from the resulting figure. Currently, some 40 states give property tax credits or homestead exemptions that allow a property to have a lower taxable assessed value.
In some states, the property tax rate is known as a millage tax, millage rate or mill levy with one mill equivalent to 1/1,000 of a dollar. Simply put, an owner of a property will have to pay one dollar for every $1,000 in taxable value.
The assessed value of a property is vital in determining the property tax. It is here where the assessor comes in and not in calculating the property tax as some other people might believe. To get the assessed value, the assessor estimates the market value of a property or the price it would likely sell for in the real estate market. This is done by conducting studies and analysis of the local real estate market and taking into consideration new construction, improvements done to the property and demolition of structures.
On your own as a homeowner, you should get an idea of your home's market value based on the sale prices of comparable properties in your neighborhood. If in the event you find that your assessment is a bit high, there is still a chance to have the value reduced through administrative and judicial proceedings or by consultation with your local assessor.
In coming up with the assessed value for residential properties, the actual value is multiplied by the residential assessment rate. The residential assessment rate is usually set by the state thus, it differs in every state.
So for example, the actual value of a home is $120,000 and the assessment rate is 7 percent, the assessed value would be $8,400.
Meanwhile, in getting the property tax for the same home valued at $120,000 with a tax rate of say, 25 percent, multiply the assessed value with the tax rate ($8,400 x .025) and you'll have a property tax bill of $2,100.
Keep in mind that property taxes have to paid each year and failure to do so would mean penalties. If possible, learn more about this important tax and other related programs such as tax breaks and tax reliefs that could provide you and your family reduced taxes.
- Kent County Property Tax Appeal
- New Castle County Property Tax Appeal
- Sussex County Property Tax Appeal