Appealing a High Property Tax Assessment.

As everyone begins to receive their Property Tax Bill, there is a substantial chance that you will be assessed for more taxes than you may actually owe.  Each year, an estimated 25% of Americans are unjustly overassessed for their property.  Unfortunately, property assessments are not always performed in accordance with changes in market values, which is often to the detriment of the taxpayer.  Your assessment should reflect a realistic amount for which you could sell your home for during this valuation period.  If your assessment displays an unrealistic selling value, you could qualify for a Property Tax Bill appeal.

If you are still unsure if you are justified in appealing, begin by looking for errors in your assessment.  Local assessors often make errors in dimensions (of both land and home), number of bathrooms (assessors usually do not perform interior assessments), etc., and these minor errors would be a strong foundation for your appeal.  Additionally, property cards of comparable properties in your area might strengthen your appeal, as well, if the comparable homes were assessed for a value much lower than your own.   Moreover, you may use certain resources that can roughly determine the approximate value of your home.  I encourage you to visit the site at http://www.indysbesthomes.com/property-search/free-market-analysis/ to receive a free estimate on the current value of your home.  If there is a large disparity between the estimated worth of your home and your property assessment, there is a strong case for appeal.  If you do choose to appeal, pay your tax bill based on the preceding year’s assessment after you initiate your appeal, which would help you to avoid any penalties or even a lien on your home.  

Follow these steps to properly begin the Appeal Process:

  • Send written notification to your local assessor (address may be found on County website) and include the name of the taxpayer, your address, and parcel or key number of your property.  Also, be sure to specify your reason(s) for appeal, which may include any of the following:
       - Appraisal from licensed appraiser
       - Formal Offers to Purchase of subject property
       - Sale prices of subject property and/or comparable properties
       - Listed prices of subject property and/or comparable properties
  • If no agreement has been reached between you and your local assessor within 120 days of the initiated appeal, the case will then be brought to the Property Tax Assessment Board of Appeals; a hearing will then be held within 180 days since you commenced the appeal.
  • If you are still not content with the Board’s decision on your appeal, your case will then be brought to the state level, and you must file a Form 131 with the Indiana Board of Tax Review, where the ultimate decision will be made.

All forms and further information can be provided for you on your County website.

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