Attn.: Pacific Northwest Home Owners. Lower Your Assessment = Lower Taxes!

Many homeowners are overlooking an opportunity to lower their property taxes by not challenging their tax assessment.  Property values have decreased in the past two to three years and the assessment may not reflect the current market value.

Deadlines are critical and if the challenge isn’t made in a timely fashion, the opportunity to lower the assessment can be lost for the year.  You’ll need tdo verify the deadlines for your area.

The process for the challenge is relatively simple and can be done by a homeowner or by professional representation.  In some cases, if there is an obvious mistake, the state employee may be able to correct it without a hearing.

Check the property assessment record for common mistakes that can include the number of bedrooms, baths, lot size and square footage of the improvements.  Documentation is required to verify the errors.  If you have an appraisal, such as when you purchased the home, it can serve as proof of the discrepancy.

In other cases, a hearing is required before a panel of citizens who will listen to testimony from the taxpayer and a representative of the assessor’s office.  Based on the documentation presented, the panel will make a ruling to lower the value, make no change or in some cases, raise the valuation.

Recently closed comparables are the most common proof presented in a hearing.  Comparables should be similar in size, condition and location.  A knowledgeable real estate professional can filter the results generated in a MLS search to identify the most appropriate.

I’m prepared to supply the comparables, filing deadlines and other pertinent information you need to make a challenge.  Lowering your assessment will result in lower property taxes and more money in your pocket.

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