There’s a lot of mad people in Cherokee County right now, regarding their property taxes. According to a 2019 study by the National Taxpayers Union Foundation, between 30 and 60 percent of taxable property has an inflated assessment.
Based on what I’m hearing and reading on Facebook, many people believe this is what’s happening to their property taxes.
But did you know that same study said fewer than five percent of taxpayers dispute their assessment?
If you feel your property has been appraised too high, there are ways to appeal and potentially win a lower assessment, which may save hundreds or even thousands of dollars annually in future taxes.
The procedures and requirements for challenging the assessed value of your property differ by city, state, county and state. Therefore, you must educate yourself about the process of appealing to your local taxing authority.
First, just because you think your property is appraised too high isn’t enough. You need facts to support your case.
For example, what have homes in your area with similar square footage, age, and amenities sold for in the past year? Also, make sure the appraisal district has your square footage correct. These are a couple of examples of facts you may be able to bring to the tax appraiser.
Fact, not feelings, are what you need before you appeal.
Some property owners go to the expense of hiring a professional appraiser.
This can be costly. You may find the cost of the appraisal doesn’t justify the reduction of appraised value. If the professional appraisal costs $1,000 and you get $200 in tax relief, that’s not a good trade off.
Also, be aware your appeal may have less credence if the appraisal is done by a local real estate agent. A comparative appraisal will carry considerably more weight when it is performed by a credible, third-party expert.
Finally, remember the appeals process has precise deadlines and procedures.
Don’t procrastinate. I know the Cherokee County Appraisal District provides these deadlines and procedures every year when you receive your appraisal.
If you don’t follow them, you run the risk of losing out on the opportunity to have your appeal heard for another year. So, familiarize yourself with their appeals process before you head down to the courthouse.
I’m not giving tax or legal advice here. You need to consult your legal or tax professionals for that. But clearly, the process of taxing our property has not always been an exact science. Sometimes (like this year) that process is certainly questionable.
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